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World Mental Health Day

Quick Facts

World Mental Health Day, which is supported by the United Nations (UN), is annually held on October 10 to raise public awareness about mental health issues worldwide.

Local names

NameLanguage
World Mental Health DayEnglish
Día Mundial de la Salud MentalSpanish
יום בריאות נפש עולמיHebrew
يوم الصحة النفسية العالميArabic
세계 정신 건강의 날Korean
Welttag der geistigen GesundheitGerman

World Mental Health Day 2014

Friday, October 10, 2014

World Mental Health Day 2015

Saturday, October 10, 2015
List of dates for other years

World Mental Health Day, which is supported by the United Nations (UN), is annually held on October 10 to raise public awareness about mental health issues worldwide. This event promotes open discussions on illnesses, as well as investments in prevention and treatment services.

Depression, including among young people, is a major mental health problem. World Mental Health Day promotes the awareness of such issues.

©iStockphoto.com/Christopher O Driscoll

What do people do?

World Mental Health Day is observed in more than 100 countries on October 10 through local, regional and national World Mental Health Day commemorative events and programs. Activities include:

World Mental Health Day is an initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH). The World Health Organization (WHO), which is the UN’s directing and coordinating authority for health, supports this event. The Mental Health Foundation is another organization that is proactive in promoting World Mental Health Day.

Public life

World Mental Health Day is a global observance and not a public holiday.

Background

Mental disorders affect nearly 12 percent of the world’s population – about 450 million or one out of every four people around the world – will experience a mental illness that would benefit from diagnosis and treatment. WHO statistics for 2002 showed that 154 million people globally suffered from depression, which is a form of mental illness. According to WHO, mental health is defined as a state of well-being in which people realize their own potential, can cope with normal life stresses, can work productively, and can contribute to their community.

Mental health services lack human and financial resources in many countries, particularly low and middle income countries. More funding is needed to promote mental health to increase people’s awareness of the issue. In response to making mental health a global priority, World Health Day was first celebrated in 1992 as an initiative of the WFMH, which has members and contacts in more than 150 countries. Each year the UN, through WHO, actively participates in promoting this event.

Symbols

The WHO logo or emblem, which was chosen by the first World Health Assembly in 1948, is often associated with the UN’s promotional material for World Mental Health Day. The emblem consists of the UN symbol surmounted by a staff with a snake coiling round it. The staff with the snake has long been a symbol of medicine and the medical profession. It originates from the story of Aesculapius who was revered by the ancient Greeks as a god of healing and whose cult involved the use of snakes.

The UN logo is often associated with marketing and promotional material for this event. It features a projection of a world map (less Antarctica) centered on the North Pole, inscribed in a wreath consisting of crossed conventionalized branches of the olive tree. The olive branches symbolize peace and the world map depicts the area of concern to the UN in achieving its main purpose, peace and security. The projection of the map extends to 60 degrees south latitude, and includes five concentric circles.

World Mental Health Day Observances

WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday typeWhere it is observed
SatOct 101992World Mental Health DayUnited Nations observance 
SunOct 101993World Mental Health DayUnited Nations observance 
MonOct 101994World Mental Health DayUnited Nations observance 
TueOct 101995World Mental Health DayUnited Nations observance 
ThuOct 101996World Mental Health DayUnited Nations observance 
FriOct 101997World Mental Health DayUnited Nations observance 
SatOct 101998World Mental Health DayUnited Nations observance 
SunOct 101999World Mental Health DayUnited Nations observance 
TueOct 102000World Mental Health DayUnited Nations observance 
WedOct 102001World Mental Health DayUnited Nations observance 
ThuOct 102002World Mental Health DayUnited Nations observance 
FriOct 102003World Mental Health DayUnited Nations observance 
SunOct 102004World Mental Health DayUnited Nations observance 
MonOct 102005World Mental Health DayUnited Nations observance 
TueOct 102006World Mental Health DayUnited Nations observance 
WedOct 102007World Mental Health DayUnited Nations observance 
FriOct 102008World Mental Health DayUnited Nations observance 
SatOct 102009World Mental Health DayUnited Nations observance 
SunOct 102010World Mental Health DayUnited Nations observance 
MonOct 102011World Mental Health DayUnited Nations observance 
WedOct 102012World Mental Health DayUnited Nations observance 
ThuOct 102013World Mental Health DayUnited Nations observance 
FriOct 102014World Mental Health DayUnited Nations observance 
SatOct 102015World Mental Health DayUnited Nations observance 
MonOct 102016World Mental Health DayUnited Nations observance 
TueOct 102017World Mental Health DayUnited Nations observance 
WedOct 102018World Mental Health DayUnited Nations observance 
ThuOct 102019World Mental Health DayUnited Nations observance 
SatOct 102020World Mental Health DayUnited Nations observance 
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