Saturday 10th October marks World Mental health day 2015. The theme for this years World Mental health day is ‘Dignity in mental health’.
Even today there are thousands of people with mental health conditions around the world are deprived of their humans rights because of their mental health issues. Although there is no discrimination, they are subject to emotional and physical abuse not only in the community, but shockingly in mental health organisations too. This is due to lack of qualified health professionals and dilapidated facilities.
The theme for this year’s World Mental Health Day, observed on 10 October, is “Dignity in mental health”. This year, WHO will be raising awareness of what can be done to ensure that people with mental health conditions can continue to live with dignity, through human rights oriented policy and law, training of health professionals, respect for informed consent to treatment, inclusion in decision-making processes, and public information campaigns.
Closer to home in the UK we also want to make people aware of how they can help friends & family members who may be suffering from mental health issues and to fights the stigmata that is associated with it.
A recent survey asked how people felt when talking about their mental health or supporting a friend. While many of us feel comfortable talking about it, 28% worried it would make them feel uncomfortable.
“There doesn’t have to be grand gestures in supporting a loved one with a mental health problem. There are times when I haven’t heard from my friend for a few days, I’ll just send her a text to let her know that I’m thinking of her.”
Small actions like this, although they may seem insignificant to you, could be just what a friend or family member needs.
Below is an extract from mentalhealth.org
One in four adults and one in ten children are likely to have a mental health problem in any given year. This can have a profound impact on the lives of tens of millions of people in the UK, and can affect their ability to sustain relationships, work, or just get through the day.
But an ill-informed and damaging attitude among some people exists around mental health that can make it difficult for some to seek help. It is estimated that only about a quarter of people with a mental health problem in the UK receive ongoing treatment, leaving the majority of people grappling with mental health issues on their own, seeking help or information, and dependent on the informal support of family, friends or colleagues.
How can we challenge this?
We are confronting this stigma through facts. Facts that help us understand patterns of mental health problems, their causes and solutions. Facts that help us break down barriers in seeking help and support. We have produced an updated Fundamental Facts with the aim of distributing it to the widest audience possible.
What is long-term answer?
At the heart of Fundamental Facts is a focus on prevention, because the best way to deal with a crisis is to prevent it from happening in the first place. For example, by providing the right information, guidance and support in childhood and adolescence, the chances of developing mental health problems can be reduced for millions of people over a lifetime.
This focus on prevention is in part about what we can all do to safeguard our wellbeing, but is also about tackling the social and economic inequalities that can lead to a higher prevalence of mental health problems.
How can you help?
This October please help us by sharing Fundamental Facts on social media with family, friends and colleagues.
We believe that effectively supporting people experiencing mental health problems is on target to become one of the greatest public health challenges of our time. Stigmatising and discriminatory treatment can be particularly distressing when a person is experiencing a health crisis.
We all have mental health and by failing to treat people with mental health problems with dignity we make it more difficult to ensure that everyone takes steps to safeguard their wellbeing and to seek help, as it can lead to self-stigma, low confidence, low self-esteem, withdrawal and social isolation.