By Aleah Goodman
This Saturday is World Mental Health Day, which is celebrated every year on October 10th. The idea of a World Mental Health Day was established in 1992, and since 1994, there have been yearly themes which the days have been centered around.
This year, the World Health Organization (WHO), has declared the theme to be “increased investment in mental health.” By “investment,” they mean not only in the importance of awareness and focus on mental health issues, but also a change in the way the government helps its people with mental health care and treatment. WHO revealed that, “Countries spend on average only 2% of their health budgets on mental health.” This is an extremely small amount, especially considering the role mental wellbeing plays into physical health.
When people are supported in their emotional and mental struggles, it helps them not only to feel happier, but to be healthier too. World Mental Health Day is not just a day, but a movement to further the discussion about mental health. This year's focus is on the underfunding of mental health care. Especially in the midst of a pandemic which has made many people feel isolated, scared, and overall disoriented, it is important that people have access to mental health resources. An increased budget for mental health would make treatment easier to get for those who need it. On October 10th, “World leaders and mental health experts will join the WHO Director-General to talk about their commitment to mental health and what more must be done.” This is a crucial step to recognizing what can be done to help people in terms of destigmatizing mental health issues and promoting wellbeing on a larger scale.
World Mental Health Day: An opportunity to kick-start a massive scale-up in investment in mental health. (2020, August 27). World Health Organization. Retrieved October 9, 2020 www.who.int/news-room/detail/27-08-2020-world-mental-health-day-an-opportunity-to-kick-start-a-massive-scale-up-in-investment-in-mental-health.
World Mental Health Day 2020. (n.d.). World Health Organization. Retrieved October 9, 2020 www.who.int/campaigns/world-mental-health-day/world-mental-health-day-2020.