World Mental Health Day 2020
The World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) was founded in 1948 to promote advancements in mental health awareness and advocacy, prevention of mental health disorders and ensuring best practice in recovery-focused interventions. The first World Mental Health Day, held on 10 October 1992, had the theme Mental Health Advocacy. Further themes have covered a range of topics from trauma, ageing, young people and suicide prevention.
In 2020, the WFMH’s theme is:
“Mental health for all, greater investment, greater access for everyone - everywhere”
This year the Federation is calling for all of us to act by highlighting the need for greater investment in mental health, particularly during a global health emergency like COVID-19. This is the first year since the conception of WFMH, in which we find the world globally united in a common mission to address the disruption and stresses caused by coronavirus. The Federation would like to see Governments provide additional financial resources to fund respite care, counselling, health guidance and psychosocial support to relieve the global stress impacts of the pandemic. Without such investments in global mental health support, in 2018 the World Economic Forum predicted poor mental health could cost the global economy $16 trillion between 2010 and 2030.
Mental health is indeed a precious commodity - an asset, which is valuable on both a communal and individual basis. The World Health Organisation states “There is no health without mental health”. Mental health relates to the core of what makes us human. As Freud famously said when we have mental health we can “Love, work and play”. Good mental health supports the capability of individuals to display healthy behaviour, which keeps themselves and others safe during a pandemic. It also supports people to perform in key roles within families, communities and societies.
Prioritising our own mental health needs is important too. Taking personal time out to rest, reflect and rejuvenate will increase our sense of wellbeing and build mental health stores to help build our resilience against some of the frustrations and losses caused by the threat and disruption of this coronavirus. Learning to develop positive mental health habits will increase our capacity to interact, connect, learn and work to create an emotional balance in our lives.
Why not invest in your mental health today? Consider a mindfulness meditation, go for a walk and take note of what is around you, or take time to connect with a friend or colleague to say hello and check how they are doing at this difficult time.