World Mental Health Day – October 10th

Mental Health is an issue near to the heart of Pastor Ed Boston. Coming from a family where issues with depression and anxiety have been inherited in at least 5 generations, he believes that the Christian community as a whole needs to learn more about this topic. The days where we told people to just pull their boots up and move on or that you wouldn’t have issues like this if you had faith in God need to be a thing of the past.

While he is normally not a big supporter of the WHO (World Health Organization), Pastor Ed says that not addressing this issue would be negligent on his part.

As part of the buildup to Sunday’s World Mental Health Day, each day Pastor Ed is posting a YouTube video he found relating to this topic. The first one is this.

Read more about World Mental Health Day below.

World Mental Health Day was celebrated for the first time on October 10, 1992, at the initiative of Deputy Secretary General Richard Hunter. Up until 1994, the day had no specific theme other than general promoting mental health advocacy and educating the public.

In 1994 World Mental Health Day was celebrated with a theme for the first time at the suggestion of then Secretary General Eugene Brody. The theme was “Improving the Quality of Mental Health Services throughout the World”.

World Mental Health Day is supported by WHO through raising awareness on mental health issues using its strong relationships with the Ministries of health and civil society organizations across the globe. WHO also supports with developing technical and communication material.

MORE HISTORY ON WORLD MENTAL HEALTH DAY

World Mental Health Day was first observed on October 10, 1992. It was created by then-Deputy Secretary-General of the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH), American psychiatrist Richard Hunter, as an annual activity of that NGO, consisting of professionals, paraprofessionals and interested individuals devoted to advocacy, education and prevention of mental disorders. Since then, the Day has been commemorated every year on October 10 by the UN, civil society groups and individuals around the world. The first three years of World Mental Health Day were a two-hour telecast broadcasted globally from the United States information agency satellite system in Tallahassee, Florida, with board members  able to participate from other countries, like Australia, Chile, England, Zambia, Geneva and Mexico City.  During the first broadcast, people from Swaziland called in, and viewed the program, unannounced and unanticipated, proving to WFMH leaders that their initiative was far-reaching and significant.

The aims of the celebration have always been to promote mental health advocacy and educate the public on relevant issues in mental health. The first theme was identified in 1994, called, “Improving the Quality of Mental Health Services throughout the World.” Feedback reports came in from 27 countries, especially Australia and England, leading to more excitement about the project, that within the next three years became a valuable occasion for nations, NGOs, and all people around the world, to learn about and commit to improving, mental health care and access for everyone. 

Since 1994, the yearly themes have covered a wide range of topics, e.g.,  women, children, human rights, chronic physical illnesses and diversity. This year’s theme was “Mental Health for All Greater Investment – Greater Access.” (WFMH, 2020). The World Health Organization (WHO) has also sponsored the events every year, such as “Dignity in Mental Health” in 2015, “Psychological First Aid” in 2016 “Mental Health in the Workplace” in 2017, “Young People and Mental Health are Changing” in 2018 and “Focus on Suicide Prevention” in 2019.

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