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World Mental Health Day

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Sunday, October 10th, 2021
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On World Mental Health Day, 10 October, it will have been more than 18 months since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. In some countries, life is returning to some semblance of normality; in others, rates of transmission and hospital admissions remain high, disrupting the lives of families and communities.

In all countries, the pandemic has had a major impact on people’s mental health. Some groups, including health and other frontline workers, students, people living alone, and those with pre-existing mental health conditions, have been particularly affected.  At the same time, a WHO survey conducted in mid-2020 clearly showed that services for mental, neurological and substance use disorders had been significantly disrupted during the pandemic.

Yet there is some cause for optimism. During the World Health Assembly in May 2021, governments from around the world recognized the need to scale up quality mental health services at all levels and endorsed WHO’s Comprehensive Mental Health Action Plan 2013-2030, including the Plan’s updated implementation options and indicators for measuring progress.

It’s time to capitalize on this renewed energy among government leaders to make quality mental health care for all a reality. World Mental Health Day presents an opportunity for government leaders, civil society organizations and many others to talk about the steps they are already taking and that they intend to take in support of this goal. 

Illustrated background image of hands and hearts and with the text "Mental health care for all: let's make it a reality".

Materials to support your campaign planning

WHO’s new Comprehensive Mental Health Action Plan will be available on this website in the near future. It will be accompanied by a flyer you can use as part of your campaign activities to raise awareness of the Plan and encourage concrete actions in support of its implementation.

In late September, we will launch a new edition of WHO’s Mental Health Atlas, which provides a clear picture of resources available for mental health, both in individual countries and globally. It will also highlight the progress that has been made during recent years and the gaps that still need to be addressed. The information provided in this report can also be used in your own campaign materials.

Taking care of yourself and others

But World Mental Health Day is about more than advocacy. It also provides an opportunity to empower people to look after their own mental health and provide support to others.

During the campaign we will be releasing new materials to help people living with one of the most common mental health conditions, depression.

Living through a pandemic

This website also includes testimonies from people talking about how their mental health has been affected by the pandemic and how they have coped, with reflections on the future of mental health care. Additional testimonies will be posted in the lead-up to 10 October.

In addition, we plan to host live conversations with experts and influencers about their efforts to increase awareness of mental health issues and help people have the conversations that are often the first step towards getting help. You will be able to find further details about these events on this site as they are firmed up.  

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on people’s mental health. Some groups, including health and other frontline workers, students, people living alone, and those with pre-existing mental health conditions, have been particularly affected. And services for mental, neurological and substance use disorders have been significantly disrupted.

Yet there is cause for optimism. During the World Health Assembly in May 2021, governments from around the world recognized the need to scale up quality mental health services at all levels. And some countries have found new ways of providing mental health care to their populations.

During this year’s World Mental Health Day campaign, we will showcase the efforts made in some of these countries and encourage you to highlight positive stories as part of your own activities, as an inspiration to others.

We will also provide new materials, in easy-to-read formats, of how to take care of your own mental health and provide support to others too. We hope you will find them useful. 

Campaign slogan

Mental health care for all: let’s make it a reality

Hashtag

#WorldMentalHealthDay


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