World Mental Health Day is a combined initiative of World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) and World Health Organization (WHO). WFMH, United Nation’s directing and coordinating authority for mental health, together with various mental health foundations and non-government organisations, conduct various activities to raise public awareness about mental health issues.
Observed in more than 100 countries on October 10, commemorative events and programs of the day include:
The theme for World Mental Health Day 2012 is ‘Depression: A Global Crisis’, as depression is a significant contributor to mental problems. Considering that mental and emotional health is one of the major components of our everyday life, this year’s campaign aims to create or spread awareness on mental health in general, especially depression. The statistics revealed by WHO for 2002 indicated that 154 million people around the world suffer from depression, a form of mental illness.
Depression affects people of all ages, marring more than 350 million people worldwide. One out of four females and one of six males suffer from depression during any stage of their lives. Despite the medical advances, availability of treatment options and services, the access to health services remains a problem in most countries. The foremost deterrent is the tendency of people to hide their mental issues and not seek a treatment for it.
World Mental Health Day was first observed in 1992 to address mental health issues and disorders and its treatment around the world. Realising that mental disorders affect nearly 12 percent of the world’s population, World Mental Health Day emphasises the importance of seeking help and early intervention.
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