World Mental Health Day

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World Mental Health Day
A poster for the 2023 World Mental Health Day featuring a green ribbon to symbolise mental health awareness
Observed byWorld Federation for Mental Health, World Health Organization, and member organizations of WFMH
Date10 October
Next time10 October 2024 (2024-10-10)
A rally for World Mental Health Day 2014 in Salem, Tamil Nadu
World Mental Health Day 2015 in Munich, Germany

World Mental Health Day (10 October) is an international day for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy against social stigma.[1] It was first celebrated in 1992 at the initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health, a global mental health organization with members and contacts in more than 150 countries.[2] This day, each October, thousands of supporters come to celebrate this annual awareness program to bring attention to mental illness and its major effects on people's lives worldwide.[3][4] In addition, this day provides an opportunity for mental health professionals to discuss and shed light on their work, making mental health a priority worldwide.[5] In some countries this day is part of an awareness week, such as Mental Health Week in Australia.[6]


World Mental Health Day was celebrated for the first time on October 10, 1992, at the initiative of Deputy Secretary General Richard Hunter. Up until 1994, the day had no specific theme other than general promoting mental health advocacy and educating the public.[7]

In 1994 World Mental Health Day was celebrated with a theme for the first time at the suggestion of then Secretary General Eugene Brody. The theme was "Improving the Quality of Mental Health Services throughout the World".[8]

World Mental Health Day is supported by WHO through raising awareness on mental health issues using its strong relationships with the Ministries of health and civil society organizations across the globe. WHO also supports with developing technical and communication material.[9]

On World Mental Health Day 2018, Prime Minister Theresa May appointed Jackie Doyle-Price as the UK's first suicide prevention minister. This occurred while as the government hosted the first ever global mental health summit.[10]

World Mental Health Day themes[edit]

Year Theme[11][12]
1994 Improving the Quality of Mental Health Services throughout the World
1996 Women and Mental Health
1997 Children and Mental Health
1998 Mental Health and Human Rights
1999 Mental Health and Aging
2000–01 Mental Health and Work
2002 The Effects of Trauma and Violence on Children & Adolescents
2003 Emotional and Behavioural Disorders of Children & Adolescents
2004 The Relationship Between Physical & Mental Health: co-occurring disorders
2005 Mental and Physical Health Across the Life Span
2006 Building Awareness – Reducing Risk: Mental Illness & 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 and Action
2009 Mental Health in Primary Care: Enhancing Treatment and Promoting Mental Health
2010 Mental Health and Chronic Physical Illnesses
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
2019 Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention
2020 Move for mental health: Increased investment in mental health[13]
2021 Mental Health in an Unequal World[14]
2022 Make Mental Health & Well-Being for All a Global Priority[15]
2023 Mental Health is a universal human right[16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jenkins, Rachel; Lynne Friedli; Andrew McCulloch; Camilla Parker (2002). Developing a National Mental Health Policy. Psychology Press. p. 65. ISBN 978-1-84169-295-1.
  2. ^ Watson, Robert W. (2006). White House Studies Compendium, Volume 5. Nova Science Publishers. p. 69. ISBN 978-1-60021-542-1.
  3. ^ "World Mental Health Day". Mental Health in Family Medicine. 7 (1): 59–60. 2010.
  4. ^ Mngoma, Nomusa F.; Ayonrinde, Oyedeji A.; Fergus, Stevenson; Jeeves, Alan H.; Jolly, Rosemary J. (2020-04-20). "Distress, desperation and despair: anxiety, depression and suicidality among rural South African youth". International Review of Psychiatry. 33 (1–2): 64–74. doi:10.1080/09540261.2020.1741846. ISSN 0954-0261. PMID 32310008. S2CID 216028920.
  5. ^ "World Antibiotic Awareness Week". Retrieved 2022-10-13.
  6. ^ Mental Health Week: 7 Ways You Can Get Involved 2 October 2015 Retrieved 15 October 2015
  7. ^ NEWS, SA (2022-10-10). "World Mental Health Day: Know the Main Cause & Remedy for Mental Health Problems". SA News Channel. Retrieved 2022-10-10.
  8. ^ "World Mental Health Day History". World Federation for Mental Health. Retrieved 2019-08-21.
  9. ^ "WHO | World Mental Health Day". WHO. Archived from the original on September 24, 2014. Retrieved 2019-08-21.
  10. ^ "World Mental Health Day: PM appoints suicide prevention minister". BBC News. 2018-10-10. Retrieved 2020-10-31.
  11. ^ "WHO | Previous World Mental Health Days". Archived from the original on September 12, 2015.
  12. ^ "World Mental Health Day History - World Federation for Mental Health". World Federation for Mental Health. Retrieved 2018-10-04.
  13. ^ Lancet, The (2020-10-10). "Mental health: time to invest in quality". The Lancet. 396 (10257): 1045. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(20)32110-3. ISSN 0140-6736. PMC 7544469. PMID 33038951.
  14. ^ "2021 World Mental Health Global Awareness Campaign - World Mental Health Day Theme". World Federation For Mental Health. 19 March 2021. Retrieved 13 September 2021.
  15. ^ "2022 World Mental Health Global Awareness Campaign - World Mental Health Day Theme". World Health Organization. 1 October 2022. Retrieved 3 October 2022.
  16. ^ "World Federation for Mental Health". Retrieved 2023-07-11.

External links[edit]