Observed all over the world on the 10th of October, World Mental Health Day was initiated by the World Federation for Mental Health in 1992. World Mental Health Day has since then been serving as an exceptional awareness program where almost 150 countries take part with one goal, to create consciousness about a very significant topic the society tends to take lightly – Mental Health.
What is Mental Health?
Psychology defines Mental Health as “A state of overall physical, emotional, mental and behavioural well being of an individual”. So, to explain it in simple terms, if a person is capable of performing his/her day to day tasks without any physical or mental hindrance and is able to give back to the community can be said to have good Mental Health. Physical and mental health goes hand in hand. The absence of one can drastically affect the other. By this definition, we can perceive why awareness regarding the notion of Mental Health and the observation of World Mental Health Day to do so is a necessity.
The Theme for World Mental Health Day
Every year a few days prior to the World Mental Health Day, its parent organization, the World Federation for Mental Health announces a theme. For this year (2018), the theme is- Young people and Mental Health in a changing world. According to WHO, “Half of all mental illness begins at the age of 14”.Young People or Adolescents are the children falling in the age group of 12- 18. They are at that stage of their life where there is an incessant conflict in their mind about family, friends, careers, and relationships – almost everything. Even a pretty small change in their surroundings can lead to an imbalance in their mental process. And at this age, when changes occur, sometimes due to the lack of proper guidance or someone to talk to, the mental illnesses go undiagnosed and untreated. And therefore, as a direct result of this ignorance, the children start to keep things to themselves and that leads to depression which in turn leads the children astray.
So, as we see, Mental Health is not only a psychological concept, but it is a governing factor as well as a determinant of the individual’s life and how he lives it. We know that prevention is better than cure and therefore, in accordance with this year’s theme for World Mental Health Day, ‘Young people and Mental Health in a changing world’, following are a few preventive measures that can be employed to exemplify the mental health of an adolescent:
Proper guidance and counselling at the home as well as the school.
Any child displaying any abnormality should be encouraged to talk about it to a trained professional.
The Government, along with NGOs and Psychologists devise plans to ensure good Mental Health.
From all that has been said, it is starkly evident that Mental Health is a very simple yet complicated concept and The observation of World Mental Health Day is not a mere formality but in these times of drastic changes, it is a necessity to ensure good Mental Health for the Young People or Adolescents who grow up to be the citizens who form the backbone of the entire country and therefore, the formation of World Mental Health Day to create awareness is no doubt a very excellent and practical initiative.