According to Professor Gabriel Ivbijaro MBE JP, Secretary General of the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH), “Our world is reeling from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, wars, displacement, and the climate emergency, all of which have consequences for the well-being of world citizens.”
He is not the only one concerned about mental health. In May 2022, Biden and Harris released a comprehensive strategy because “our country faces an unprecedented mental health crisis among people of all ages.” According to the World Health Organization, “estimates put the rise in both anxiety and depressive disorders at more than 25% during the first year of the pandemic. At the same time, mental health services have been severely disrupted and the treatment gap for mental health conditions has widened.”
Yet the theme of World Mental Health Day 2022 is not one of hopelessness, but of hope. The theme ‘Make Mental Health & Well-Being For All a Global Priority’ provides us with an opportunity to re-kindle our efforts to protect and improve mental health. It looks towards the future, and gives us the goal of making our world a better place for all.
As a representative for the World Federation for Mental Health, I believe now more than ever we must work together to solve the global mental health crisis. In 2015, I shared my personal story about why mental health is critical for meeting the Sustainable Development Goals at the United Nations, and the need for mental health resources has only increased since then. So please join me in activating hope on this important day.
What can you do on October 10th? Here are a few ideas:
Social Media Activation: Share what you are doing in your personal life or community for mental health. Be sure to use hashtags #WorldMentalHealthDay #WMHD2022 and consider tagging the World Federation for Mental Health and iFred.
Online and In-person Events: Join one of the many online and/or in-person events found on the World Mental Health Day Website.
Download the Toolkit: Check out the toolkit, and create your own local event or activation for your friends, family, or your community.
Activate Hope: As hopelessness is the primary predictor of suicide and primary symptom of anxiety and depression, activating hope can positively impact mental health. Take time on October 10 to inspire hope in every area of your life:
- Personal Life: Take time to practice hope skills by signing up for the Five Day Global Hope Challenge. The Five Day Global Hope Challenge is a daily challenge that introduces the Five Keys to SHINE Hope™ you can use to activate hope in your life.
- Relationships: Share hope skills with your friends and family by gifting them some of our Hopeful Minds resources. Hopeful Minds is a project developed by iFred that is based on research that suggests hope is teachable (a skill). The aim is to equip people with the tools they need to define, learn, and grow Hopeful Minds.
- Workplace: Encourage your employer to explore our workplace resources, including the Five Keys to SHINE Hope workplace posters. All of the resources available for workplaces are outlined in the Hopeful Cities Playbook and in the Hopeful Cities Workplace Campaign.
- Community: Encourage your government officials to join the Hopeful Cities Movement, and download the free Hopeful Cities Playbook for hope initiatives for your community. In addition to the workplace campaign, the Hopeful Cities Movement provides cities with a blueprint they can use to implement hope initiatives in government, education, science, art, and awareness.
- Government: Encourage your Country Ambassador to support our UN Resolution for an International Day of Hope. The International Day of Hope allows us to join in solidarity on a single day to share the science, stories, and strategies of hope, and to activate the “how-to” of hope in our lives and in communities around the world.
In the words of WFMH Secretary General Ivbijaro, “We are at a cross-roads. It is imperative to take the correct path. We invite you to join this year’s World Mental Health Day campaign.”
For more information on World Mental Health Day, visit https://wfmh.global/.