Starting a conversation on World Mental Health Day

Today (10 October) is World Mental Health Day, providing a chance for you to talk about your mental health and show others that theirs matters.

One in four people will experience some kind of mental health problem in their life, and the Mental Health Foundation has found that this number doubles for disabled people. Over half of people with a learning disability have a mental health problem, and children with a disability are four and a half times more likely to develop one than their peers of the same age. 

Some mental health problems are so severe or debilitating that they are classed as a non-visible disability. So, whilst someone might not have a physical or learning disability, they may struggle to complete everyday tasks because of their mental health. 

Focus

The  Hidden Disabilities Sunflower charity believes some 450 million people have poor mental health worldwide. That’s why today focusses on mental health being a universal human right regardless of people’s backgrounds. 

Campaigners are calling for the World Health Organisation (WHO), member states and partners to ensure everyone has a fair opportunity for good mental health. This includes being able to easily access suitable and affordable health care and support when it is needed.

The WHO says that having poor mental health should not be a reason to deprive someone of their human rights or exclude them from conversations about their health. 

Ahead of World Mental Health Day, the WHO released a statement calling for change: “All over the world, people with mental health conditions continue to experience a wide range of human rights violations. Many are excluded from community life and discriminated against, while many more cannot access the mental health care they need or can only access care that violates their human rights.

“WHO continues to work with its partners to ensure mental health is valued, promoted, and protected, and that urgent action is taken so that everyone can exercise their human rights and access the quality mental health care they need. 

“Join the World Mental Health Day 2023 campaign to learn more about your basic right to mental health as well as how to protect the rights of others.”

If you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health, reach out for help. You can start by contacting your GP and arranging an appointment to discuss your feelings. They can prescribe medication and refer you to the appropriate services in your area.

You can also contact a mental health charity who can listen to your worries and help you access relevant support:

Shout (24/7)

Text SHOUT to 85258

Mind (9am – 6pm)

0300 123 3393

CALM (5pm – 12am)

0800 58 58 58

Samaritans (24/7)

116 123

Anxiety UK (9:30am – 5:30pm)

03444 775 774

Featured image credit: Mental Health Foundation

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