Every 10th of October it’s World Mental Health Day. This is a day for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy. It’s an initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) and was first celebrated in 1992.
Today each 10th of October thousands of supporters come to celebrate this annual awareness program to bring attention to mental illness and its major effects on peoples’ life worldwide. In some countries this day is part of the larger Mental Illness Awareness Week. The theme of this year is ‘Mental Health and Older Adults’.
Maybe you are already part of a rally, campaign or activity on this day. If not, here are 10 suggestions for reading, viewing, voting, blogging, joining or donating on this special day.
1. You can read the special WFMH (World Federation for Mental Health) ‘Mental Health and Older People’ document, 64 pages pdf or the WHO (World Health Organization) ‘Mental Health of Older Adults, Addressing a growing concern’, 6 pages pdf. Both contain topics like mental health and wellbeing of older people around the world, dementia, depression, the role of social interventions and rehabilitation in the care of older adults, the managing complexity and multi-morbidity in older adults, collaborating with families in the case of elderly patients, self-care for family caregivers, and more.
You can also read these 2 papers regarding the human rights and dignity of older adults: the UN Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 20 December 2012, 3 pages pdf and the more ‘easy to read’ Inputs: General Assembly resolution 67/139-, 2 pages pdf ‘Towards a comprehensive and integral international legal instrument to promote and protect the rights and dignity of older persons’.
Another good read is the The World We Want 2015 19 pages pdf, 2012: ‘Voices of the Marginalized: Persons with Disabilities, Older People, People with Mental Health Issues’, with an exploration of facts and worries and a list of references/links to other material.
2. You can print the WHO 2 pages flyer (pdf) on ‘Good Mental Health in Later Life’ and hang it everywhere.
3. If you want to watch a award winning film about Global Mental Health you can take this great opportunity on this 10th of October. From 1:00am PST (West USA or e.g. 8:00am UK or 1:30pm India) 24 hours long. In these 24 hours there will be a Global Webscreening of ‘Hidden Pictures’. In this documentary filmmaker and physician Delaney Ruston, who grew up in the shadow of her dad’s schizophrenia, explores the hidden struggles faced by the 450 million people living with mental illness worldwide. Through deeply personal stories involving bipolar illness, depression, schizophrenia and anxiety in India, China, Africa, France and the US, Hidden Pictures reveals a global epidemic of silence on mental health, as well as moments of profound compassion and remarkable change.
The World Health Organization will also screen this movie at their headquarters on The World Mental Health Day.
4. You can join the Melbourne Centre for International Mental Health from October 7-11 for an online, international Q&A with the editors of the soon-to-be released book ‘Global Mental Health: Principles and Practice’: the professors Vikram Patel, Harry Minas and Alex Cohen. In this online discussion the three editors will answer questions from all over the world about global mental health issues. You can ask a question, share an idea or vote for questions and more.
5. You can donate a bit of money to for example
–Basic Needs, an international mental health NGO in their Skoll Foundation Social Entrepreneurs Challenge on CrowdRise.com.
-Or the in India based Mainstreaming People with Mental Illness in Karnataka via GlobalGiving.org.
-Or Suicide Hub and Hotline in Kenya via the OnePercentClub.com.
6. Or vote for one or more Mental Health applications in the Stars in Global Health Grand Challenges Canada round 6. This video voting period will be from September 12, 2013 until 1pm EST November 15, 2013.
7. Or join the Thunderclap campaign of Mindapples. ‘Love Your Mind’ on World Mental Health Day 2013.
note: Thunderclap is a tool that lets a message be heard when you and your friends say it together. Join a Thunderclap, and you and others will share the same message at the same time, spreading an idea through Facebook and Twitter that cannot be ignored.
Mindapples hopes to get at least 100 supporters before the 10-10-2013.
8. You can educate your friends, colleagues and family with the Say It Forward Campaign of the International Bipolar Foundation (IBPF) and Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA): “We hope you’ll join forces with us to educate and inspire people to learn the facts about mood disorders and break the chains of stigma”.
From September 30 until October 10 they offer you example Tweets, Facebook updates and mail-texts which help you to Say It Forward just with one click of the mouse.
9. Or blog about a mental health issue on this 10th of October and join the Psych Central/Carter Center 3rd annual World Mental Health Day Blog Party. All you need do is publish a blog entry on Thursday, Oct. 10 about a mental health issue that’s close to your heart. It may be on the topic of access to treatment, resources or support within your local community. It may be on an individual’s personal struggle with a mental health concern, etc. Once you’ve posted your blog entry, simply let them know at email@example.com. They will post all the links throughout the day on their World Mental Health Day.
10. Or stroll through the seven Global Mental Health Inside stories on this in2mentalhealth website. Stories from Nepal, Afghanistan, Ukraine, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Somalia and Uganda. Read about the challenges and achievements of these 7 people active in mental health care and advocacy.
Wish you a wonderful World Mental Health Day 2013!
Roos Korste, psychologist, international trainer and blogger