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World Mental Health Day

10 October, 2021

Mental health is about what is going well. It is an individual’s state of well-being and their capacity to thus realise their potential, cope with the normal stresses of life, work productively and fruitfully, and contribute to community. World Mental Health Day is to raise awareness of mental health issues and mobilise efforts in support of mental health. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that mental illness accounts for 30 percent of the non-fatal disease burden and 10 percent of the overall disease burden worldwide, including death and disability. Mental ill-health is characterised by a combination of abnormal thoughts, perceptions, emotions, behaviours and relationships with others. Mental heath disorders include depression (264 million people worldwide), bipolar disorder (45 million), schizophrenia (20 million) and other psychoses, dementia (50 million), and developmental disorders, including autism. WHO’s Mental Health Action Plan 2013-2020, extended to 2030, has four key objectives:

  • more effective leadership and governance for mental health;
  • the provision of comprehensive, integrated mental health and social care services in community-based settings;
  • the implementation of strategies for promotion and prevention; and
  • strengthened information systems, evidence and research.



Image: World Mental Health Day