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World Mental Health Day is observed on October 10, 2017 in more than 100 countries to promote education and advocate for individuals with mental health issues. Its aim is to provide further awareness and assistance for people suffering from a wide range of mental disorders– in the quest to save lives and increase their quality of life. The World Federation for Mental Health established World Mental Health Day in 1992.

Mental health includes a person’s emotional, psychological and social well-being and is more important than ever with statistics estimating that 350 million people worldwide suffer from depression.

Observe World Mental Health Day on October 10—and throughout the year–by supporting local, regional and national organizations that promote the awareness of mental health issues.

Facts about Mental Health

  • Mental health is defined as a state of well-being in which people realize their own potential, can cope with normal life stresses, work productively and contribute to their community.
  • Mental Health disorders affect nearly 12 percent of the world’s population. About 450 million—or one out of every four people—around the world will experience a mental illness that would benefit from diagnosis and treatment.
  • More than 300 million people of all ages globally suffer from depression.
  • Depression can lead to suicide. More than 800,000 people worldwide take their own lives each year.
  • Suicide is the third leading cause of death in the world for individuals from 15 to 44 years old.
  • About 10 to 20 percent of children in the world experience a mental disorder. It is the leading cause of disability in youth.

What to do on World Mental Health Day

The following are suggestions of what to do to learn more about and support mental health on World Mental Health Day and throughout the year.

1) Volunteer for an organization that works with child mental health. Depression is a growing concern among children and organizations, such as Big Brothers and Sisters of America, Teen Mental Health, the National Alliance on Mental Illness and Children’s Mental Health, can help locate a local area to help youth.

2) Read a book about mental disorders, such as:

  • The Bell Jar
  • Thirteen Reasons Why
  • All the Bright Places.

3) Watch a movie that touches on mental health issues or particular disorders, such as:

  • Bipolar: Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
  • Schizophrenia: A Beautiful Mind (2001)
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: As Good as it Gets (1997) Suicide: The Virgin Suicides (1999)
  • Alzheimer’s: Still Alice (2014)
  • Borderline Personality: Girl, Interrupted (1999)
  • Depression: Inside Out (2015)
  • Post-Traumatic Stress: Jacob’s Ladder (1990)

4) Evaluate your own mental well-being or that of someone you are close to. Are you always sad? Do you have suicidal thoughts? Do you feel that you have no reason to live?

5) Visit a psychologist to discuss any problems that have overwhelmed you lately.

6) Talk about your feelings.

7) Exercise

8) Eat well

9) Drink sensibly

10) Keep in touch with loved ones.

11) Ask for help.

12) Take a break.

13) Do something you’re good at.

14) Accept who you are.

15) Care for others.

Quotes about Mental Health

  • “It won’t be easy, but it will get better.”
  • “You’re so hard on yourself. Take a moment. Sit back. Marvel at your life: at the grief that softened you, at the heartache that widened you, at the suffering that strengthened you. Despite everything, you still grow. Be proud of this.”
  • “You are worth finding, worth knowing, worth loving.”
  • “Tough times don’t define you, they refine you.”
  • “I have endured, I have been broken, I have known hardship, I have lost myself. But here I stand, still moving forward, growing stronger each day.”
  • “What you tell yourself every day will either lift you up or tear you down.”
  • “The darkest place I’ve ever seen was inside me, and nothing scared me more.”
  • “My life isn’t good or bad. It’s an incredible series of emotional and mental extremes, with beautiful thunderstorms and stunning sunrises.”
  • “Don’t give up because of one bad chapter in your life. Keep going. Your story doesn’t end here.”

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