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World Mental Health Day: History and Significance

by Vaishali Sharma
mental health day

Every year on October 10, World Mental Health day is observed. In 1992, the World Federation for Mental Health observed the day for the first time.

The objective behind observing this day is to raise awareness about mental health concerns and mobilise support for mental health. The World Health Organization’s (WHO) official website stated that “The Day provides an opportunity for all stakeholders working on mental health issues to discuss their work, and what more needs to be done to make mental health care a reality for people worldwide.”


The main objectives of World Mental Health Day are to raise public awareness of mental health concerns around the world and to motivate people to support mental health. The day makes sure that the topic of mental health is brought up and continues to be on people’s minds. The day offers an opportunity for mental health care professionals to exchange ideas and discover new strategies for ensuring that mental health treatment is available to everyone worldwide.


A non-governmental organisation called the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) was established in 1948. On October 10, 1992, Richard Hunter, who was the deputy secretary general of the WFMH at the time, declared the first World Mental Health Day. Every year since 1994, a unique theme has been chosen for the international celebration.

2022 Theme

‘Make mental health & well-being for all a global priority’ is the theme for World Mental Health Day 2022.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, one in eight people globally experienced mental health problems. But there wasn’t enough financial and infrastructural support for mental health.
The pandemic raised mental stress across the globe.

More than 7 lakh individuals commit suicide each year as a result of stress or depression, according to the WHO. On World Mental Health Day, it is highlighted how stigma and discrimination harm individuals who are afflicted. It advocates for social inclusion and everyone’s entitlement to high-quality medical treatment.

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