World Mental Health Month
October is World Mental Health Month, and October 10 was recognized as World Mental Health Day. WMH Day is a day rooted in mental health education, awareness, and advocacy to battle social stigma. WMHD was first celebrated in 1992 as a result of the World Federation for Mental Health–every year since 1994 has had a theme of celebration. This year’s World Mental Health Day theme is “Make Mental Health and Wellbeing for All a Global Priority,” which calls us to remember the hardships the globe has faced over the past few years due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. This day was established to remind us to not stop fighting for our well being–visible or not.
Due to the Pandemic’s impact, there is an estimated 25% global rise in depression and anxiety. These consequences don’t discriminate and as a result also heavily influence our children. Globally, one in seven 10 to 19-year-olds experiences a mental disorder, and most remain unacknowledged and untreated. Failing to address these conditions will result in impairment of their physical and mental health in adulthood. Children are our future, and without stability and treatment they won’t have the tools to be successful as adults.
Preventative measures and early detection are two vitally important practices when it comes to mental health. Mental health prevention interventions seek to strengthen an individual’s capacity to manage their emotions and build resilience for adverse situations. Early detection is crucial to fully address the needs of adolescents with mental health conditions–it is recommended to prioritize non-pharmacological approaches to avoid over-medicalization and institutionalization. The Children’s Foundation recognizes how important it is to value our children’s mental health, and we hope to contribute to a future with more preventive practices and holistic treatment of mental health disorders.
If you want to learn more about World Mental Health Day, visit the World Health Organization’s website at https://www.who.int/campaigns/world-mental-health-day. If you want to learn more about adolescent mental health, visit https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/adolescent-mental-health. There you can learn more about how mental health disorders impact children and what we can do to protect and provide them with a clearer, fairer future. The 2022 Annie E. Casey Foundation data book is also full of data regarding child mental health across the country, along with other data regarding child well-being, and can be found here.