Mental Health Week and World Mental Health Day are marked in October each year.
It’s a good time to reflect on the importance of looking after your mental health and a reminder of how your actions, experiences, and the world around you can shape your wellbeing.
Here’s a look at this year’s campaign themes and ways you can look after your own mental health and help boost the mental health of your community.
What is Good Mental Health?
Mental health is a key component of overall health and wellbeing. Good mental health is when you can cope with the normal stresses of your daily life, work productively, participate in loving relationships, contribute to your community, and work towards your goals.
Ultimately, good mental health is about being cognitively, emotionally and socially healthy – the way you think, feel and develop relationships – and is not merely the absence of a mental health condition.
Mental Ill Health – An Increasing Problem
Mental Ill health is becoming an issue globally. Many factors, including the COVID-19 pandemic have challenged the wellbeing of many over the past few years.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the COVID-19 pandemic created a global crisis for mental health, fuelling short- and long-term stresses and undermining the mental health of millions.
In Australia, a national study of mental health and wellbeing has shown mental disorders and behavioural conditions including anxiety and depression have significantly increased.
The ABS reports:
- More than two in five Australians aged 16-85 years (43.7% or 8.6 million people) had experienced a mental disorder at some time in their life
- One in five (21.4% or 4.2 million people) had a 12-month mental disorder
- Anxiety was the most common group of 12-month mental disorders (16.8% or 3.3 million people)
- Almost two in five people (39.6%) aged 16-24 years had a 12-month mental disorder
As a result of such increases, there is a renewed focus on education and support around the need to protect and improve mental health.
WHO World Mental Health Day
This year’s campaign slogan is Make mental health and wellbeing for all a global priority.
World Mental Health Day was observed for the first time on 10 October 1992. The day, officially commemorated every year on October 10th, aims to raise awareness in the global community about critical mental health agendas – with a unifying voice through collaboration with various partners – to act and to create lasting change.
In this year’s theme statement organisers say:
“There is increasing evidence that the prevention of mental ill health is possible by using both general and targeted evidence-based interventions. These can improve outcomes for individuals across the spectrum of mental disorder and life course. We can all play our part in increasing awareness about what preventive mental health interventions work.”
How you can participate:
Read the campaign toolkit for ways you can raise awareness of the issues and advocate for change
World Mental Health Day – Mental Health Australia
This year’s campaign slogan is Look after your mental health, Australia.
The focus of the campaign is awareness, belonging and connection. The campaign encourages Australians to:
- Raise awareness: learn about mental health and wellbeing, and ways to care for yourself and others.
- Find belonging: look out for each other, and understand that however you feel, you’re not alone.
- Stay connected: find services and supports that help foster mentally healthy practices.
Related campaigns and events are held around Australia.
WA Mental Health Week
Mental Health Week is celebrated each year in October scheduled around World Mental Health Day.
It provides an opportunity to highlight the connection between social determinants and mental health and ways to keep people mentally healthy.
This year’s theme: Where we live. How we live. What we’ve lived.
The focus of the campaign is to raise awareness of the connection between your mind, body, environment and life experiences and the impact on your mental health.
“The nutrition we consume, movement of our bodies, the health of our planet and quality of our housing and neighbourhoods all play a part in building health communities and individuals,” according to campaign briefings.
You can find out more about the campaign through resources including:
- Mind – Get information about the physical and psychological effects of meditation, tips on how to relax, the health benefits of practicing relaxation, the power of positive thinking, how to identify your strengths and weaknesses and the science of psychology and goal setting.
- Body – Find out about the link between diet and depression, the benefits of moving your body, yoga for better mental health and the importance of sleep.
- Environment – Discover the mental health impact of climate change, homelessness, tips on connecting with nature to improve your mental health and issues surrounding COVID-19 as well as rural and remote mental health,
- Lived Experiences – Understand the effect of traumatic stress on the brain and how your lifestyle choices affect your mental health. Learn how to process, heal and grow from negative experiences to build resilience.
Mental Health Week events will be held through the State. See the list of featured events for activities in your area.
Reach Out for Help
If you face overwhelming challenges which impact your day-to-day life or need support to understand and better manage your mental health and wellbeing, reach out to a qualified psychologist or counsellor.
Our team of psychologists at Psychological Health Care Dianella can help you address and overcome issues which may be preventing you from living your best life.
Contact us today to ask a question, request an appointment or find out more about the clinical psychologists you can see at our clinic.