10 October: World Mental Health Day
World Mental Health Day was observed on 10 October 2016 with theme ‘Psychological First Aid’. The day is annually observed with an aim to raise awareness about mental health issues around the world and mobilising efforts in support of mental health.
The year’s theme focuses on basic pragmatic psychological support by people who find themselves in a helping role whether they are health staff, teachers, firemen, community workers, or police officers.
The day was first observed 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.
Mental health is a level of psychological well-being or an absence of mental illness. It is the psychological state of someone who is functioning at a satisfactory level of emotional and behavioral adjustment.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), mental health includes subjective well-being, perceived self-efficacy, autonomy, competence, inter-generational dependence, and self-actualization of one's intellectual and emotional potential, among others. Many factors contribute to mental health problems, including:
• Biological factors, such as genes or brain chemistry
• Life experiences, such as trauma or abuse
• Family history of mental health problems
WHO’s Comprehensive mental health action plan 2013–2020
This comprehensive mental health action plan was adopted by the 66th World Health Assembly. The plan focuses on international attention on a long-neglected problem and is firmly rooted in the principles of human rights. The four major objectives of the action plan are to:
• Strengthen effective leadership and governance for mental health.
• Provide comprehensive, integrated and responsive mental health and social care services in community-based settings.
• Implement strategies for promotion and prevention in mental health.
• Strengthen information systems, evidence and research for mental health.
Each of the four objectives is accompanied by one or two specific targets, which provide the basis for measurable collective action and achievement by Member States towards global goals. A set of core indicators relating to these targets as well as other actions have been developed and are being collected via the Mental Health Atlas project on a periodic basis.
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