World Mental Health Day 2020: History And Significance of The Day

World Mental Health Day 2020: “Every 40 seconds, someone loses his/her life due to suicide,” says WHO. This is what mental disturbances and disorders like depression lead to. The data is scary and concerning enough. That’s why the WHO started the initiative to observe World Mental Health to raise awareness about the common psychological conditions and remove stigma attached to them. The World Mental Health Day is observed on October 10 every year with a certain theme. This year, it is ‘Mental Health for All: Greater Investment – Greater Access’. The theme is self explanatory. There is a need of more and more psychological support, investing in mental health programmes and reducing the prevalence of death owing to mental health conditions.

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The initiative to celebrate October 10 as the World Mental Health day was taken by the Deputy Secretary-General Richard. It was celebrated for the first time in the year 1994. However, there was no theme given to the day until 1994. In that year, the theme was “Improving the Quality of Mental Health Services throughout the World.” The idea behind this day was simply to inform as many people as possible, about the significance of mental health and make them aware of different types of mental health conditions people are suffering from. WHO lends its helping hand and supports the World Mental Health Day observance.

Having a good mental health has been of utmost importance to live a quality life. But, now, due to the onset of COVID-19 pandemic, it has become urgency to highlight the significance of mental health and increase investment in chronically underfunded sectors.

During this hard time, “Bereavement, isolation, loss of income and fear are triggering mental health conditions or exacerbating existing ones,” says the WHO. COVID-19 pandemic has led to an increase in the cases of alcohol abuse, drug use, insomnia, anxiety, stress, and depression. If not addressed or treated on time, these problems can turn into complications like agitation, stroke, heart attack and even death. The pandemic affected and interrupted the essential mental health services across the globe at a time when they were needed the most.

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