Although 10 October may be known by some as World Porridge Day, or even Hug a Drummer Day, for over 20 years now, 10 October has been the official date upon which we mark World Mental Health Day...
World Mental Health Day was established by the World Federation for Mental Health in October 1992. Each year the organisation choses a different key theme to encompass the day, and this year will draw attention to ‘young people and mental health in a changing world’.
All about the youth
Growing up in a social media-driven era can be tough. Cyber bullying and cybercrimes are rife; recent studies reveal that LGBTQ youth feel more persecuted than ever and there’s been a steady increase in suicide and substance abuse figures amongst young people.
According to The World Health Organization (WHO), half of all mental illnesses begin by the age of 14, yet most cases go undetected and untreated. Depression is the third leading cause of mental illness and suicide is the second main cause of death among 15 to 29-year-olds.
Mental health issues can range from depression and anxiety to schizophrenia and eating disorders. The overlying problem is that young people are not being taught enough about the importance of protecting their mental wellbeing from an early age, or how to communicate when they feel that their mental health is in jeopardy.
How can you get involved?
The purpose of World Mental Health Day is to bring attention to the mental health-related issues that the youth of today are facing, as well as to start a much-needed dialogue about what can be done to resolve and prevent such issues from occurring in the first place.
Donate to Mind, the mental health charity, to fund their support services, talking therapy and crisis care facilities.
Additionally, Mental Health Foundation hosts an annual Tea & Talk national fundraising event for groups of friends, family or work colleagues to participate in whilst enjoying a spot of tea and crumpets. You can also order a green ribbon pin badge from the organisation to raise awareness and support strong mental health.
And Mental Health First Aid England has launched a new set of online resources for young people’s wellbeing: the #HandsUp4HealthyMinds toolkit.
At the very least, simply spread the word on social media using #WorldMentalHealthDay
Looking for a mental health charity?
If you wish to seek support, or further information regarding mental health and raising awareness you can find a full list of registered mental health charities in our directory.