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As most people who have an interest or experience with the topic will know, today is World Mental Health Day. Every year since 1992 a global community of thousands have come together to celebrate the work of the World Health Organization in mental health and countless other awareness programs which promote education and the removal of the social stigma that still surrounds this subject.
The Theme for World Mental Health Day 2018
Each Year World Mental Health Day has a theme. For example, last year, around mental health in the workplace and this year is focusing on Young people and mental health in a changing World.
It is no surprise that the theme this year is focused on is young people as some of the statistics around mental health in young people are staggering and incredibly worrying. And the trend seems to go back some time.
Studies from the Children’s Society in 2008 suggested the following:
- 20% of adolescents may experience a mental health problem in any given year.
- 50% of mental health problems are established by age 14 and 75% by age 24.
- 10% of children and young people (aged 5-16 years) have a clinically diagnosable mental problem3, yet 70% of children and adolescents who experience mental health problems have not had appropriate interventions at a sufficiently early age.
A study from the NHS in 2014 showed that the highest proportion of people who reported were females in the 16 – 24 bracket as shown below:
The “changing world” part of this years World Mental Health Day ties in well with growing concerns about use of social media and online bullying which younger people tend to be particularly susceptible to and there are various initiatives in progress to address issues in this area.
I also wrote about the topic of a mental health epidemic in UK schools back in June which you can read here
World Mental Health Day 2018 News Announcements
There has been considerable coverage in the UK media today on the topic of mental health with a number of plans published including the following:
The BBC reported today that Greater Manchester would become the first area in the UK to publish data on waiting times for child mental health services in order to better service young suffers.
Bristol University have announced a announced an opt in scheme that allows University staff to alert parents or guardians if they feel that a student is suffering from mental health problems.
One of the most prolific announcements was that the Government decision to appoint a minister for suicide prevention which was announced today at the first ever global mental health summit. In the same announcement it was revealed that the Samaritans would receive an additional £1.8 million in funding to allow them to continue to provide their helpline over the next 4 years. The Government are also due to announce a 10 year plan for the NHS in November and have implied that they will be making mental health a priority.
World Mental Health Day on Twitter
As usual Twitter has been absolutely packed with tweets around the topic with a number of hashtags being used including #MentalHealthDay2018, MentalHealthAwarenessDay #WorldMentalHealthDay
There are far too many incredible and inspirational tweets to mention them all and I highly recommend checking out the hashtags above but I thought I would list some of my favourites here.
Be nice to people cause it makes a difference 🙂 I’m the happiest I’ve been in a long time and have the best people in my life who make me so happy but if you’re not, talk to people. It gets better #MentalHealthDay2018 pic.twitter.com/EmCnjsYqxQ
— heather (@heatherroy99) October 10, 2018
For #MentalHealthDay2018 and all the writerfolk out there — I did a new post about an old subject: when writer's block isn't really writer's block.https://t.co/664lHjEFEP
— Chuck Wendig (@ChuckWendig) October 10, 2018
A gentle reminder that it’s okay to not be okay, so don’t wait till the darkness consumes you. Please talk to someone. You aren’t annoying. You aren’t a burden. You aren’t depressing. You aren’t weak. You are in pain and that’s as real as any other disease. #MentalHealthDay2018
— Nicole Aimée Schreiber (@nicoleaimee) October 10, 2018
'For anyone suffering from OCD, anxiety or depression, please trust me when I say however debilitating, exhausting, or impossible it may seem, it doesn't mean you can't achieve every inch of your potential' – #Overshare #MentalHealthDay2018https://t.co/hPLADaUNoU pic.twitter.com/1xXlenW8kI
— Orion Publishing (@orionbooks) October 10, 2018
There are a number of other mental health awareness days coming up next month including the following:
National Stress Awareness Day which is promoted by the International Stress Management Association to raise awareness of the impact of stress in the workplace
International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day which aims to unite people from around the world who have been affected by suicide.
Anti-Bullying Week which is made up of a number of organisations dedicated to helping provide activities and resources to improve the way in which schools deal with bullying.