World Mental Health Day 2022
7 Oct 2022
October 10 is World Mental Health Day (WMHD), a day where the global community comes together to promote the importance of mental health education, awareness, support, and advocacy against social stigma. This year’s theme is “Make mental health & well-being for all a global priority”.
Impact of COVID-19 on global mental health
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the global mental health crisis, leading to both short and long-term strains that have affected the mental health of millions of people around the world. Support services have also been greatly affected, and the treatment gap for mental health conditions is more prevalent now than ever before. This issue isn’t new, according to the World Health Organization, prior to the pandemic in 2019, an estimated one in eight people globally were living with a mental health conditions . At the same time, the “services, skills and funding available for mental health remain in short supply, and fall far below what is needed, especially in low and middle income countries”.
To address this issue, many organizations around the world are working together to dedicate more resources and funding to mental health supports to ensure those affected have access to the help they need.
Breaking down barriers
Stigma and discrimination continue to be key barriers to social inclusion, understanding, and access to the necessary support. Social stigma can increase mental health issues, negatively impact recovery, and can decrease the likelihood of an individual seeking treatment. On WMHD, we work to address social stigma to encourage individuals to talk about their mental health and seek appropriate treatment.
Though barriers to accessing mental health support and treatment exist in every country, developing countries experience this barrier at a heightened level, as oftentimes there aren’t sufficient resources or trained professionals available. According to the World Federation for Mental Health, “… in low and middle-income countries over 75% of people with mental health conditions have received no treatment at all”.
WMHD provides the opportunity to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world and to increase global efforts in support of mental health and overall well-being. On this day, we, as global citizens are encouraged to recommit to breaking down barriers, focusing on acceptance, and working to protect and improve everyone’s mental health and healthy well-being.