World Mental Health Day: What is the 2021 theme?

TODAY is World Mental Health Day and there are many ways you can do your bit to raise awareness or money.

The day is every year on October 10 — but what's it all about, what is the 2021 theme and how can I get involved?

When is World Mental Health Day?

The event takes place every year on October 10 and it aims to educate and raise awareness of mental health issues.

The day was set up by the World Federation for Mental Health and it was first celebrated in 1992.

What is the 2021 theme?

The official theme for this year's event is Mental Health in an Unequal World, as set by the World Federation for Mental Health.

This theme will highlight that access to mental health services remains unequal, with between 75% to 95% of people with mental disorders in low- and middle-income countries unable to access mental health services at all, and access in high income countries is not much better, say WFMH.

Lack of investment in mental health disproportionate to the overall health budget contributes to the mental health treatment gap.  

Many people with a mental illness do not receive the treatment that they are entitled to and deserve and together with their families and carers continue to experience stigma and discrimination.

The gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’ grows ever wider and there is continuing unmet need in the care of people with a mental health problem.

Research evidence shows that there is a deficiency in the quality of care provided to people with a mental health problem.

It can take up to 15 years before medical, social and psychological treatments for mental illness that have been shown to work in good quality research studies are delivered to the patients that need them in everyday practice.

How is World Mental Health Day celebrated?

You can get involved in a number of ways, including hosting a Tea&Talk fundraising event for friends and family.

If you want to hold one, simple gather up some people and talk about mental health issues over a tea and possibly biscuits.

If you want to make a donation to the Mental Health Foundation, text THRIVE to 70300 to give £3 or donate online.

Those interested can take action by educating themselves about mental health and recognise the signs of mental health issues.

They can also organise conversations at offices, schools and their local community with friends, neighbours and family members about the importance of mental health and how to quickly recognise the signs of mental health problems such as depression.

Other ways to observe World Mental Health Day include volunteering or donating to mental health clinics and services that help people suffering from mental health issues, registering for group therapy sessions and practising proper mental health self-care for themselves, such as by exercising, eating healthily, volunteering, meditating and seeking counselling if necessary.

And while today is the official day, you can organise fundraising events all year round, to help think of some ideas you can request a pack at any time. 

For more information on mental illness visit The Mental Health Foundation, Time To Change, Mind and Rethink. 

To talk to The Samaritans call 116 123.

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