Are you aware that World Mental Health Day is coming up on Wednesday, October 10th?
One of the biggest struggles for people with mental illness is dealing with the stigma that’s attached to it. Although acceptance of mental illness has grown over the last few decades, there’s still a long way to go before it’s widely recognized as a legitimate condition. One of the most significant steps towards acceptance happened over 20 years ago in 1992 with the first World Mental Health Day. Since then, World Mental Health Day has been held annually every October 10th, to shine a light on the struggles of those with mental health issues and to help reduce the stigma surrounding mental health conditions.
History of World Mental Health Day
The very first mental health was held on October 10th, 1992, organized by the World Federation for Mental Health. Spearheaded by then-Deputy Secretary General Richard Hunter, World Mental Health Day aimed to educate the public about mental health issues and promote mental health advocacy through a variety of methods, including television, radio, and print media. Since then, social media has become a very important part of the campaign.
The centrepiece for the first few years was a huge two-hour telethon held in the state of Florida. Even though the telethon was US-based, the actual event was international, with live involvement from all over the world. As World Mental Health Day grew, yearly themes were introduced and the education materials became available in more and more languages, including Spanish, French, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Hindi, and Arabic. In recent years, Canada has really stepped up its game to participate in this important movement.
This Year’s Theme
As part of World Mental Health Day’s annual theme to shine a light on a specific area of mental illness, this year the theme is “Young People and Mental Health in a Changing World.” (You might recall that in 2017, the theme was “Mental Health in the Workplace.”)
Between new schools, new friends, puberty, bullying, and the stresses that come along with adolescence, change is a constant for young people. It’s critically important that kids learn about issues of stress and alienation so that they don’t evolve into deeper mental health issues. For some kids, serious depression can lead to suicide while in some parts of the world fraught with war, unstable government, or other humanitarian disasters, the stress can have other long term impacts.
One of the most encouraging developments over the last few years is how more and more young people are recognizing the signs of mental illness. An increased understanding of these symptoms allows for earlier treatment that can help build mental health resilience from a much younger age. Although the stigma of mental health has decreased with younger people, it can still be very strong with the older teens. The parents and teachers of those with mental health issues must do whatever they can to support their children, helping them find the mental health support that they need. This is one of the aims of this year’s World Mental Health Day.
How Owl Practice Can Help
As a mental health professional, you’re on the front lines every day, fighting the good fight against the stigmas surrounding mental health. Whether you work with those who suffer from mild depression or those who suffer from major mental illnesses, you need your practice management solution to support you and your patients.
Owl Practice strives to give you everything that you need to run your practice, so that you can focus on what’s really important: your clients. When you work with Owl Practice, you’re working with people who believe in the importance of mental health care just as firmly as you.
For those mental health professionals who treat young people, Owl Practice offers the Circle of Care. This feature allows you to add all relevant family relations and other contacts to a young patient’s profile, so all of their information is in one place. If you’re seeing the entire family for group therapy sessions, you can link the profiles of everyone together so you will easily be able to see family relationships. What’s really important here is that we are working to design the best possible system to make your work with young people and families operate more smoothly, so that you can spend less time on administrative work and more time helping people.
Owl Practice celebrates World Mental Health Day and hopes that, year by year, the stigma of mental health will continue to dissipate.