World Mental Health Day is a day dedicated to mental health awareness, education and a fight against its social stigma. World Mental Health Day was first celebrated in 1992 at the initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health, an organization with members and contacts across 150 countries.
The importance of mental health has never been felt more than it has been now with increasing rates of suicides among various sections of the society, especially teenagers and young adults.
According to the director-general of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus “one person still dies every 40 seconds from suicide”.
This number is concerning despite an increase in strategies among many countries to combat mental illness and bring about awareness among citizens. We have a long way to go when it comes to incorporating suicide prevention strategies and a lot of work is yet to be done.
In fact, studies show that the Suicide rate is highest in high-income countries; the second leading cause of death among young people.
It is time for us to become more aware of the importance of mental health and reach out to people whenever we feel they are behaving in an unusual manner. It is okay to not be okay, a simple conversation can help someone in need.