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Why Mental Health Day Matters
Yana Golic /  Mon, 24 Oct 2022

This month, on October 10th, it was World Mental Health Day. This occasion was first celebrated in 1992 at the World Federation for Mental Health and is done in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO). Its goal is to bring awareness to mental health issues and to advocate against the social stigma present in our society. Every year there is a specific theme being tackled and this year the theme is “Make Mental Health & Well-Being for All a Global Priority”. Before the pandemic 1 in 8 people globally were living with mental health issues. Add in the fact that during the pandemic a rise of over 25% in levels of anxiety and depressive disorders was seen, it is clear that this is an issue that affects many people.

Unfortunately, a big barrier that stops people from getting the help they need is the stigmatization surrounding mental health. This is why an event like World Mental Health Day is so important. It encourages open communication about mental health and advocates for the idea that it is a real issue that affects a big population of our world. On World Mental Health Day the WHO also releases its annual World Mental Health Report which provides a plan for governments, academics, health professionals, civil society and others to take action in the transformation of mental health.

It’s no secret that high school students can really struggle with mental health. In fact, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health found that 56% of Ontario high-school students have exhibited levels of psychological distress (in the form of anxiety and depression symptoms). This is why it's key for schools to work hard on the process of helping students dealing with these issues and for them to work on the destigmatization of mental health. If students felt more comfortable talking about these issues, it would be much easier to get help. World Mental Health Day serves as a reminder to us all that we have work to do when it comes to mental health and we should all make an effort to be more understanding and accepting.