World Mental Health Month

Every October is observed as World Mental Health Month—a time for people to think critically about the status of their mental health and to take steps to improve it. Although not everyone may realize it, a person’s mental health is just as important for their overall well-being as their physical health.

It can affect every single aspect of our lives and can significantly influence how we care for ourselves, as well as how we care for those we love. This holiday is also an important one for communities and organizations to get involved in, ensuring that their people have proper access to the mental health services they may need.

It allows the global community to unify under one voice to help those who feel hopeless to become more empowered in their mental health.

The History Of Mental Health Month

World Mental Health Month is modeled on an earlier holiday known as Mental Health Month. This was, and still is, an American holiday that was first established in 1949 by an organization known as Mental Health America (MHA).

That holiday was also observed in October for a while, but that changed during the 1960s when it was moved to May. In 1992, the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) established World Mental Health Day and placed it on the 10th of October.

This day was created as a global initiative to raise awareness about mental health and to mobilize efforts in support of mental health. This holiday was originally seen as a one-off campaign for that year, but enthusiasm soon spread about the holiday throughout the international community.

The result is that the holiday expanded to encompass the entire month of October. This happened in the mid-1990s, and this observance month has been observed around the world ever since.

Some Important Facts About Mental Health

In order to further the cause of World Mental Health Month, we thought we’d provide some information we uncovered on the subject. We hope that the following facts give people a good starting point to begin their own research on the subject.

However, it needs to be said that no one should depend solely on the information found below. We hope that people will talk to their doctors and other healthcare professionals to get the information they need to assess and take care of their own mental health, and to look for mental health warning signs in their loved ones.

  • Suicide is the leading cause of death in the international community among young people between 15 and 29 years of age.
  • Although significant progress has been made, in some countries, people with mental health conditions often experience discrimination and human rights violations.
  • Over 350 million people in the world suffer from depression.
  • According to the World Health Organization (WHO), over 800,000 people take their own lives each year.

Observing World Mental Health Month

With each passing year, Mental Health Month has continued to grow in significance as more individuals, public health workers, and organizations take part in it. Their efforts are creating safe spaces where people can engage in meaningful conversations about mental health and have destigmatized seeking mental health help.

Their work has also ensured that more people have access to the mental health services they need. Although we’re still not in a place where every single person’s mental health needs are addressed, thanks to this holiday, the mental health disparity gap in the international community has been shrinking every year, although there is still plenty of work to be done.

Everyone participating in this month can help the cause for more universal access to mental health services for everyone who wants and needs it. We can use this holiday to break down the barriers that prevent us from getting the help we need and to challenge some of the misconceptions about mental health that might still exist.

This can be done by participating in expos and symposiums, learning more about mental health issues that currently exist, and helping to raise awareness about mental health. Even doing something as simple as spreading the word about this holiday using the hashtag #WorldMentalHealthMonth can be quite useful in encouraging people to tend to their own mental health.

When is it?
This year (2024)
October 1 Tuesday
Next year (2025)
October 1 Wednesday
Last year (2023)
October 1 Sunday
Health & Body, United Nations