World Mental Health Day 2021: Mental Health in an Unequal World

World Mental Health Day 2021 is recognised by the World Health Organisation as a day to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world each year on the 10th of October. First…

World Mental Health Day 2021 is recognised by the World Health Organisation as a day to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world each year on the 10th of October. First observed in 1992, World Mental Health Day has been celebrated by giving mental health professionals an opportunity to speak about mental health issues and care and, in turn, help raise awareness for global mental health problems. This year’s theme is ‘Mental Health in an Unequal World,’ which was chosen to highlight inequalities based on race/ethnicity, sexual orientation and gender identity in an increasingly polarized world.  

According to the World Federation for Mental Health, the access to mental health services is unequal around the world, with 75% to 95% of people with mental disorders in low- and middle-income countries unable to access mental health services at all. Access to the same services in high income countries is not much better. 

To commemorate World Mental Health Day, we’ve put together a list of facts and resources to help ensure that everyone can get access to help and support if they need, no matter what their individual circumstances are.   

Here are some key statistics and facts from the World Health Organisation: 

  • About half of mental disorders begin before the age of 14. 
  • Around 1 in 5 of the world’s children and adolescents have a mental disorder. 
  • People with severe mental disorders die 10 to 20 years earlier than the general population. 
  • Depression is one of the leading causes of illness and disability among adolescents and adults. It is estimated that every 40 seconds someone dies by suicide. 
  • In numerous European countries, suicide is one of the main causes of death in young people. 

Here are 4 things you can do this World Mental Health Day 2021 to show your support and raise awareness about mental health at school: 

  • Sign up to see ‘Forward Together’, a special news programme for World Mental Health Day that will explore how the mental health crisis has advanced the mental health narrative and agenda in the workplace and wider society. 
  • Plan your own school campaign. Get you and your students engaged in activities that promote healthy ways to cope with wellbeing challenges and encourage them to share and be open with their struggles. You can access materials and more information here. 
  • Take care of yourself and others. The past year has been hard on everyone, and it’s important that people know when and how to reach out to others. Show your students how easy it is to reach out and what impact that might have on someone’s life. Find time to take a break and connect to your peers weekly. World Mental Health Day 2021 is about empowering yourself and those around you to take a step back, evaluate their mental health and start working on yourself and others. 
  • Show your support on social media by using the following hashtags: #PinItForMentalHealth #worldmentalhealthday, #mentalhealthawareness and #mentalhealth. 

What are we doing to help improve mental health among students? 

At Impero, we put student safety and wellbeing first. Impero Backdrop is a free tool for schools to effectively manage and record student safety concerns. Backdrop helps schools create a full safeguarding timeline for each student so that educators can identify at-risk students and intervene early if necessary.  

All schools should have the tools to effectively monitor student’s mental health, no matter their circumstance. Sign-up for free today here. 

If you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health, here are some useful resources: 

  • Samaritans is a charity that provides 24/7 help and you can call them for free on 116 123 or contact them here. 
  • Mind is a charity registered in England that provides support for people struggling with their mental health. You can contact them here. 

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