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World Mental Health Day 2019

World Mental Health Day (WMHD) is observed on 10th October every year, with the objective of raising awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilizing efforts in support of mental health. World Federation for Mental Health founded the awareness day in 1992 to make mental health care a reality for people worldwide.

Mental disorders are leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide. According to World Health Organization (WHO), one in four people in the world is affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives. Mental health problems account for about 16 % of global burden of disease in people aged 10-19 years.  

The theme by World Federation for Mental Health on WMHD 2019 is “Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention”.

The day focuses on working together to prevent suicide. Approximately 800,000 people die from suicide every year which means one life every 40 seconds. But suicides can be prevented with timely interventions.

As per WHO, there are different ways to prevent suicide:

  • Restricting access to means
  • Helping young people develop skills to cope with pressures in life
  • Early identification and management of people who are thinking about suicide or have made an attempt to suicide
  • Working with media to keep a track of suicide reporting
  • Follow-up of people who have attempted suicide and provide social support to them
  • Training social health workers in assessment and management of suicidal behaviour

People at risk are who are unable to deal with breakdowns and life stresses; Cases of disaster, violence, abuse and isolation.

WHO has taken steps, to reduce premature mortality by one third from non-communicable diseases by 2030 through prevention and treatment, and also to promote mental health and well-being.

National activities to support mental health:

National Mental Health Programme*: Government of India has been implementing National Mental Health Programme (NMHP) since 1982 to ensure the availability and accessibility of minimum mental healthcare for all with its key implementation unit- District Mental Health Programme. The aim is to integrate mental health care in to primary health care and to proceed towards community health care.  

The National Mental Health Policy announced in October, 2014 and Mental Healthcare Act 2017 also act to strengthen mental health services in India.

Adolescent reproductive and sexual health programme (ARSH) under National Health mission (NHM) provides various health services related to young adults.

The Government of India has several national and international programs and has various schemes and initiatives at the national level (National Social Service Scheme, Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan, National Youth Policy 2014) that outline pathways for positive youth development. 

Related links-

World Mental Health Day 2018