Loneliness Awareness Week (14-18 June)

This year, Loneliness Awareness Week will take place from 14 to 18 June.

Hosted by the Marmalade Trust, it is a campaign that raises awareness of loneliness and gets people talking about it.

Find out more here and how you can get involved.

In 2020 the campaign reached around 271.5 million people – all without leaving our homes. The campaign saw almost 20,000 charities, organisations, companies and individuals get involved online.

Mental Health Awareness Week (UK)

Mental Health Awareness Week takes place on 10-16 May 2021 and this year’s theme is nature.

What is Mental Health Awareness Week and why does it matter?

Mental Health Awareness Week is an annual event when there is an opportunity for the whole of the UK to focus on achieving good mental health.

The Mental Health Foundation started the event 21 years ago, and each year the Foundation continues to set the theme, organise and host the Week. The event has grown to become one of the biggest awareness weeks across the UK and globally.

Mental Health Awareness Week is open to everyone. It is all about starting conversations about mental health and the things in our daily lives that can affect it. This year we want as many people as possible - individuals, communities and governments - to think about connecting with nature and how nature can improve our mental health.

However, the Week is also a chance to talk about any aspect of mental health that people want to – regardless of the theme.

Read more here.

What is World Autism Awareness Day?

Introduction

World Autism Awareness Day is an internationally recognised day on 02 April every year, encouraging Member States of the United Nations (UN) to take measures to raise awareness about people with autistic spectrum disorders including autism and Asperger syndrome throughout the world.

Background

It was designated by the UN General Assembly resolution (A/RES/62/139).

World Autism Awareness Day”, passed in council on 01 November 2007, and adopted on 18 December 2007. It was proposed by the UN representative from Qatar, Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al-Missned, Consort of His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, the Emir of the State of Qatar, and supported by all member states.

This resolution was passed and adopted without a vote in the UN General Assembly, mainly as a supplement to previous UN initiatives to improve human rights.

World Autism Day is one of only seven official health-specific UN Days. The day itself brings individual autism organisations together all around the world to aid in things like research, diagnoses, treatment, and acceptance for those with a developmental path affected by autism.

Components

The original resolution had four main components:

  • The establishment of the second day of April as World Autism Awareness Day, beginning in 2008.
  • Invitation to Member States and other relevant organisations to the UN or the international societal system, including non-governmental organisations and the private sector, to create initiatives to raise public awareness of autism.
  • Encourages Member States to raise awareness of autism on all levels in society.
  • Asks the UN Secretary-General to deliver this message to member states and all other UN organisations.

Themes

For the past years, each World Autism Awareness Day has focused on a specific theme determined by the UN:

  • 2012: “Launch of Official UN “Awareness Raising” Stamp”.
  • 2013: “Celebrating the ability within the disability of autism”.
  • 2014: “Opening Doors to Inclusive Education”.
  • 2015: “Employment: The Autism Advantage”.
  • 2016: “Autism and the 2030 Agenda: Inclusion and Neurodiversity”.
  • 2017: “Toward Autonomy and Self-Determination”.
  • 2018: “Empowering Women and Girls with Autism”.
  • 2019: “Assistive Technologies, Active Participation”.
  • 2020: “The Transition to Adulthood”.

Notable Initiatives

Onesie Wednesday

In 2014, WAAD coincided with Onesie Wednesday, a day created by the National Autistic Society to encourage people in England, Wales and Northern Ireland to show their support for anyone on the autistic spectrum. By wearing a onesie or pyjamas, participants are saying, “it’s all right to be different”.

Outcomes

United States

In a 2015 Presidential Proclamation, President Obama highlighted some of the initiatives that the US government was taking to bring rights to those with autism and to bring awareness to the disorder. He highlighted things like The Affordable Care Act, which prohibits health insurance companies from denying coverage based on a pre-existing condition such as autism. He also pointed out the recent Autism CARES Act of 2014, which provides higher level training for those who are serving citizens on the autism spectrum.

Book: A Beginner’s Guide to Being Mental: An A-Z

Book Title:

A Beginner’s Guide to Being Mental: An A-Z.

Author(s): Natasha Devon.

Year: 2018.

Edition: First (1st), Main Market Edition.

Publisher: Blue Bird.

Type(s): Paperback, Audiobook and Kindle.

Synopsis:

‘Am I normal?’
‘What’s an anxiety disorder?’
‘Does therapy work?’

These are just a few of the questions Natasha Devon is asked as she travels the UK campaigning for better mental health awareness and provision. Here, Natasha calls upon experts in the fields of psychology, neuroscience and anthropology to debunk and demystify the full spectrum of mental health. From A (Anxiety) to Z (Zero F**ks Given – or the art of having high self-esteem) via everything from body image and gender to differentiating ‘sadness’ from ‘depression’.

Statistically, one in three of us will experience symptoms of a mental illness during our lifetimes. Yet all of us have a brain, and so we ALL have mental health – regardless of age, sexuality, race or background. The past few years have seen an explosion in awareness, yet it seems there is still widespread confusion. A Beginner’s Guide to Being Mental is for anyone who wants to have this essential conversation, written as only Natasha – with her combination of expertise, personal experience and humour – knows how.

National PTSD Awareness Day

National PTSD Awareness Day is a day dedicated to creating awareness regarding PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). It is acknowledged annually on the 27th of June. The US Senate officially designated this day in 2010. In 2014 the Senate designated the whole month of June as PTSD Awareness Month.

In the US, 6.8% of adults will experience PTSD in their lifetimes with women twice as likely as men to experience it (10.4% to 5%) frequently as a result of sexual trauma. Veterans are another group highly likely to experience PTSD during their lives, with Vietnam War veterans at 30%, Gulf War veterans at 10%, and Iraq War veterans at 14%.

On this day, organisations that work with employees, consumers, and patients at risk for the condition work to get information about symptoms and treatments for it out to the public in the hopes that when more people know about the disease more people who suffer from it will get treatment. The US Department of Defence is one of the major organisations involved as June is full of days relating to the military.

You can find out more about raising PTSD awareness from the US Department of Veterans Affair’s National Centre for PTSD and PTSDUK.