World Mental Health Day – How to Observe and Participate

On October 10, 1992, World Mental Health Day was observed for the first time. In 1994, a theme for the day was used for the first time. That theme was “Improving the Quality of Mental Health Services throughout the World.” This year, the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) chose to make “Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention” the theme of World Mental Health Day. Every 40 seconds, someone loses their life to suicide. Nearly 800,000 people die by suicide in the world each year; it is the second leading cause of death in the world for those aged 15-24.

On this year’s World Mental Health Day, people are encouraged to prepare to take “40 seconds of action” on October 10 to help:

  • improve awareness of the significance of suicide as a global public health problem
  • improve knowledge of what can be done to prevent suicide
  • reduce the stigma associated with suicide
  • let people who are struggling know that they are not alone

Everyone can help prevent suicide:

  • Learn the warning signs of suicide to identify and appropriately respond to people at risk. Find out how this can save a life by visiting: www.BeThe1to.comexternal icon
  • Reduce access to lethal means – such as medications and firearms – among people at risk of suicide.
  • Contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for help: 1-800-273-TALK (8255). https://suicidepreventionlifeline.orgexternal icon

Some additional ways to observe World Mental Health Day include volunteering or donating to mental health clinics and services that help people suffering from mental health issues, registering for group therapy sessions and practicing proper mental health such as exercising, eating healthy, volunteering, meditating and seeking counseling if necessary.

The organization, Time to Change, encourages you to review the World Mental Health Day Activity Pack.  It is full of activities that you can look to deliver, alongside resources to support the promotion of your commitment to addressing mental health stigma and the events you can get involved in.

Download the World Mental Health Day Activity Pack (PDF, 9.2MB) >