World Mental Health Day is an international day for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy against social stigma.
It was first celebrated in 1992 at the initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health, a global mental health organisation with members and contacts in more than 150 countries.
This day, each October, thousands of supporters come to celebrate this annual awareness program to bring attention to mental illness and its major effects on peoples’ lives worldwide.
In some countries this day is part of an awareness week, such as Mental Health Week in Australia.
World Mental Health Day was celebrated for the first time on 10 October 1992 at the initiative of Deputy Secretary General Richard Hunter. Up until 1994, the day had no specific theme other than general promoting mental health advocacy and educating the public.
In 1994, World Mental Health Day was celebrated with a theme for the first time at the suggestion of then Secretary General Eugene Brody. The theme was ‘Improving the Quality of Mental Health Services throughout the World’.
World Mental Health Day is supported by the World Health Organisation (WHO) through raising awareness on mental health issues using its strong relationships with the Ministries of health and civil society organizations across the globe. WHO also supports with developing technical and communication material.
- 2020: Move for mental health: Increased investment in mental health.
- 2019: Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention.
- 2018: Young people and mental health in a changing world.
- 2017: Mental health in the workplace.
- 2016: Psychological First Aid.
- 2015: Dignity in Mental Health.
- 2014: Living with Schizophrenia.
- 2013: Mental health and older adults.
- 2012: Depression: A Global Crisis.
- 2011: The Great Push: Investing in Mental Health.
- 2010: Mental Health and Chronic Physical Illnesses.
- 2009: Mental Health in Primary Care: Enhancing Treatment and Promoting Mental Health.
- 2008: Making Mental Health a Global Priority: Scaling up Services through Citizen Advocacy and Action.
- 2007: Mental Health in A Changing World: The Impact of Culture and Diversity.
- 2006: Building Awareness – Reducing Risk: Mental Illness & Suicide.
- 2005: Mental and Physical Health Across the Life Span.
- 2004: The Relationship Between Physical & Mental Health: co-occurring disorders.
- 2003: Emotional and Behavioural Disorders of Children & Adolescents.
- 2002: The Effects of Trauma and Violence on Children & Adolescents.
- 2000-2001: Mental Health and Work.
- 1999: Mental Health and Aging.
- 1998: Mental Health and Human Rights.
- 1997: Children and Mental Health.
- 1996: Women and Mental Health.
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