World Mental Health Day

World Mental Health Day is held on the 10th of October every year. First celebrated in 1992, World Mental Health Day was created by the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) in an attempt to bring awareness of mental health issues, and encourage advocacy against the social stigmas that encapsulate them. The day has been observed for the last 26 years to remind us that mental health affects all regions of the world, not just those we interact with. 

World Mental Health Day specializes in a specific topic each year. Previous topics include: 

  • 1996 – Women and Mental Health
  • 1997 – Children and Mental Health
  • 1998 – Mental Health and Human Rights
  • 1999 – Mental Health and Aging
  • 2000 – Mental Health and Work (this program continued into 2001)
  • 2002 – The Effects of Trauma and Violence on Children and Adolescents
  • 2003 – Emotional and Behavioral Disorders of Children
  • 2004 – The Relationship Between Physical and Mental Health: Co-Occurring Disorders
  • 2005 – Mental and Physical Health Across the Lifespan
  • 2006 – Building Awareness – Reducing Risk: Mental Illness and Suicide
  • 2007 – Mental Health in a Changing World: The Impact of Culture and Diversity
  • 2008 – Making Mental Health a Global Priority: Scaling up Services through Citizen Advocacy
  • 2009 – Mental Health in Primary Care: Enhancing Treatment and Promoting Mental Health
  • 2010 – Mental Health and Chronic Physical Illness
  • 2011 – The Great Push: Investing in Mental Health
  • 2012 – Depression: A Global Crisis
  • 2013 – Mental Health and Older Adults
  • 2014 – Living with Schizophrenia
  • 2015 – Dignity in Mental Health
  • 2016 – Psychological First Aid
  • 2017 – Mental Health in the Workplace
  • 2018 – Young People and Mental Health in a Changing World

This year’s World Mental Health Day will focus on suicide prevention. According to National Today, a website designated to bringing awareness to global holidays, you can observe World Mental Health Day in the following ways:

Check out the WHO website for campaign information

Go to the World Mental Health Day page on the: WHO website to learn about resources and activities taking place around the world and near you.

Organize a conversation in your office or community

Start your own conversation about what it takes to be healthy in body and mind by organizing an event with your friends and neighbors. It can be a powerful way to learn more about each other and strengthen support networks close to home.

Educate yourself about mental health and share an important stat on social media

Chances are there is a lot about depression or OCD you don’t know—who is most affected? How early do people show symptoms? What are the tell-tale symptoms? Find out something you didn’t know and make sure to tell your friends.


For more information about this year’s World Mental Health Day, you can watch the YouTube video found here, or visit the World Health Organization’s page found here.

Other organizations that focus on mental health include:

Time to Change

World Federation for Mental Health

Mental Health Foundation

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

American Mental Wellness Association

Movement for Global Mental Health

Please visit these sites to find more resources and learn more about mental health.


Photos courtesy of (free usage photos).

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