It’s World Mental Health Day

WMHD-logo-e1476717677647World Mental Health Day is a day for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy against social stigma. It was first celebrated in 1992 at the initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health, a global mental health organisation with members and contacts in more than 150 countries.

So what’s been happening today? Here’s some selected news and information in the media.

It’s a world day after all – and there’s a positively global flavour to some of the reporting. The WHO is focusing on young people’s mental health worldwide. TIME has an interesting piece on mental health in India.

In line with the global theme, the UK Mental Health Foundation made their 10th October all about young people. They are focusing on schools with their Make It Count campaign kit online, which looks useful.

There’s a nice article from the BBC about running and mental health and marathon runner Jonny Benjamin’s been talking to Sky News about his experiences and his charity. Go Jonny!

The main story reported today was the creation of a minister for the prevention of suicide, with many expressing concerns about lack of resources. The suicide prevention charity Papyrus gave the new measure a cautious welcome but called for more emphasis on the fact that suicide is the leading cause of deaths in young people between 10 and 34 of both sexes and that suicide is on the increase. The charity said:

“Stemming this is more important than anything if this government is really serious about suicide prevention. PAPYRUS believes that suicide is preventable. Let’s see if the government does.

“The Prime Minister cannot seriously claim that the UK now holds mental and physical health in equal esteem. Parity of esteem is way off whilst we hear every day on HOPELINEUK that our young people are often left waiting for lengthy periods for proper, professional mental health support even at the point of suicidal crisis.”

Mind also welcomed the Prime Ministers’ new minister for suicide prevention, but added  some caution:

“The new minister will need do all they can to make sure people at risk of suicide are able to access the services they need, when they need them, which includes marked improvements to patient safety, both during and after a hospital stay”

Mind also pointed to the complexity of mental health issues, noting that “half of people with mental health problems have thought about or attempted suicide as a result of social issues such as housing issues, finances, benefit support, and employment.

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