Introduction

Professor Gabriel Ivbijaro: Monday 10th October 2016 Dignity in Mental Health: Psychological and Mental Health First Aid for All

Photo impression World Mental Health Day 2016

October 10th is World Mental Health Day (everywhere)

The World Mental Health Week Celebrations at the LRC Hall, Dept of Psychiatry PIMS on Oct 18, 2016 at Tiruvalla, India.

 

World Mental Health Day (10 October) is a day for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy. It was first celebrated in 1992 at the initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health, a global mental health organization with members and contacts in many countries. On this day, each October, thousands of supporters observe an annual awareness program to bring attention to Mental Illness and its major effects on people’s lives worldwide. In some countries this day is part of an awareness week, such as Mental Illness Awareness Week in the US and Mental Health Week in Australia.

This years's theme ‘Dignity in Mental Health-Psychological & Mental Health First Aid for All’ will enable us to contribute to the goal of taking mental health out of the shadows so that people in general feel more confident in tackling the stigma, isolation and discrimination that continues to plague people with mental health conditions, their families and carers.


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World Mental Health Day - Monday 10th October 2016 Dignity in Mental Health: Psychological and Mental Health First Aid for All

The 2016 World Mental Health Day is close to many people’s hearts because psychological and mental health first aid is a theme that every citizen of the world can embrace. It provides a global opportunity and platform to increase community awareness of mental health issues and the recognition of early signs of a mental health problem so that we can act early. As we all know nobody is immune because mental distress can affect any one of us.

Stigma and discrimination continue to affect many people who experience mental health issues and there continues to be poor investment in mental health which results in poorer health outcomes. There is a gap between mental health needs and what is actually provided and we must continue to work with the WHO to address this because it is not right.

At least one in four adults experience mental health difficulties at any one time, and those that support them are also touched by the problem so highlighting mental health on one day a year in October is not enough. We know that somewhere in the world today a person dies every 40 seconds as a result of suicide, a preventable condition. Many people with depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and epilepsy are getting little or no help and alcohol and substance misuse remains a major problem.
About 10% of the world’s population is affected by a diagnosable mental disorder and 20% of children and adolescents suffer from some form of diagnosable mental disorder.
It is estimated that mental disorder accounts for 30% of the non-fatal disease burden worldwide so the continued lack of investment in mental health is a short-sighted approach because, in the long run, nations and society pay more. This is why global events such as World Mental Health Day are very important for every single one of us because they provide an opportunity for us to come together as a global family to advocate for mental health and provide the evidence that enables government to do the right thing.

As the 42nd President of the World Federation for Mental Health it is a great honour and privilege for me to serve and also launch World Mental Health Day 2016. I am filled with hope that parity between mental and physical health is within our reach during our lifetime because we have you.

The World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) was founded in 1948, the same year as the United Nations and the World Health Organization. It is the oldest mental health organization in official relations with the World Health Organization and the United Nations Health Agency. WFMH has a long history of advocacy for improving mental health care, promoting mental health, and educating the public about mental disorders.

It established World Mental Health Day (10 October) in 1992 as a way to expand public education, using annual themes and providing specially prepared educational material.

I know that many of you have been doing so much to promote psychological and mental health first aid over many years and will continue to do so - for this I salute you. I am very pleased that we are highlighting psychological and mental health first aid as a mental and physical health parity issue and that many people around the world have taken up the cause of psychological and mental health first aid to make it globally available by taking action in many ways, big and small.

In London, Waltham Forest Clinical Commissioning Group are using this year’s theme to highlight the need to improve access to psychological therapies to the whole population, the London Borough Tower Hamlets are holding a breakfast meeting with local businesses to highlight the importance of using mental health first aid to improve the work environment and are providing free Mental Health First Aid training for health and social care staff working in their borough. The Argentinian Mental Health Association and the Taiwan Mental Health Associations have been holding a series of themed events to highlight psychological and mental health first aid and the World Organisation of Family Doctors (Wonca) has directly communicated with its 600,000 members to highlight the importance of psychological and mental health first aid. Mental Health First Aid England have developed a toolkit that is freely available to support this year’s World Mental Health Day 2016 theme (https://www.mhfaengland-munroforster.com/download-toolkit/) including a thunderclap on https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/44501-take-10-together?locale=en and I urge you to carry out your own events and let WFMH know what you have done or what you are planning to do. I will be launching World Mental Health Day at the WHO in Geneva during the mhGAP Moving Forward with the Global Mental Health Agenda Meeting and then travelling to Cairns in Australia to continue to advocate for mental health.

I know that we are effective because we are working together as a global family and there is a lot of good news to report. Governments are also contributing. For instance, the USA is using the Mental Health First Aid Act of 2015 (S. 711/H.R. 1877) to continue their investment in Mental Health First Aid. I am also aware that many countries and states are also finding ways to invest in this endeavour.

This year’s World Mental Health Day theme on Psychological and Mental Health First Aid has the potential to reduce the stigma of mental health problems and to narrow social distance so that the general public can feel confident helping someone experiencing a mental health problem rather than walking away from them. As a society, if we embrace the principles of psychological and mental health first aid we increase our capability of helping to stop a mental illness from getting worse, of preventing someone from hurting themselves or others and helping a person affected by mental ill health to recover faster because these principles give us all the skills to guide someone towards the right support. I am full of hope and confidence that parity between mental and physical health is within our reach because so many different people, organisations and governments are working towards this.

As President of WFMH I set the following three objectives for my term of office:

  • To address the stigma associated with mental ill-health
  • To empower people to take action to promote mental health
  • To spread understanding of the equal importance of mental and physical health

Many individuals and organizations have collaborated with WFMH to support these goals. As part of my advocacy work I have met many people and I have been touched by many stories that I have heard. This is why I am making a direct appeal to you today to join us at WFMH so that you can influence the global mental health advocacy agenda, participate in choosing World Mental Health Day themes and educational materials and participate in the WFMH leadership election process (http://wfmh.com/index.php/membership?id=21 ).

It is wrong for mental health to continue to remain in the shadows. There are many stories of suffering and indignity but suffering is not inevitable. We can all do something to stop this human suffering…

References:
1. World Bank/WHO. Out of the Shadows: Making Mental health a Global Development Priority. 2016
http://pubdocs.worldbank.org/en/391171465393131073/0602-SummaryReport-GMH-event-June-3-2016.pdf (accessed 09.10.2016)

2. WFMH. Dignity in Mental Health - Psychological
http://wfmh.com/reports/2016-07%20WFMH%20DIGNITY%20IN%20MENTAL%20HEALTH.pdf

Professor Gabriel Ivbijaro MBE, JP
MBBS, FRCGP, FWACPsych, MMedSci, MA, IDFAPA
President World Federation for Mental Health(WFMH)
Chair The World Dignity Project
Twitter@IvbijaroGabriel
facebook.com/IvbijaroGabriel
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/author/gabrielivbijarogmailcom 
The Wood Street Medical Centre, 6 Linford Road, Walthamstow, London E17 3LA, UK
Mobile: 07973 175955


October 10th is World Mental Health Day (everywhere)

IF YOU KNOW OF SOMETHING OR SOMEONE WHO CAN SUPPORT #LIGHT-UP-PURPLE 2016, PLEASE LET US KNOW.

World Mental Health Day (10 October) is a day for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy. The first WMHD was in 1992 at the initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health, a global mental health organization with members and contacts in more than 150 countries. On this day each October – thousands of supporters come to celebrate this annual awareness program to bring attention to Mental Illness and its major effects on peoples’ life worldwide.In some countries this day is part of the larger Mental Illness Awareness Week. There is an great need to provide more information on mental wellness.

Please visit http://lightuppurple.com/


World Mental Health day 2016

We, the Association of Psychiatric Nurses of Nigeria (APNON ), a specialist group under the National association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives Borno state chapter, have observed the WMHD by providing psychological first aid to the internally displaced persons in Maiduguri the Borno state capital we have also provided the IDPs with some relief materials and emergency drugs and we hope to do more.


Dag Rekve, Senior Technical Officer, Management of Substance Abuse, Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, World Health Organization and Professor Gabriel Ivbijaro, President World Federation for Mental Health at the Geneva Conference London Eye light up purple on World Mental Health Day.
Photo by Wouter van der Zouwen

The World Mental Health Week Celebrations were held at the LRC Hall, Dept of Psychiatry PIMS on Oct 18, 2016 at Tiruvalla, India. The programme was organised in collaboration with  the World Association of Social Psychiatry.

WMH Day Theme: "Psychological First Aid"

Rev Fr Mathew Punakulam (Administrator, Pushpagiri) was the Chief Guest and inaugurated the meeting. President- Elect, WASP Roy Abraham Kallivayalil presided. Dr Prasad Cheeramattom (SWC Member, IMA), Dr G Sukumaran (Professor of Medicine), Dr Vikram Gowda (Vice-Principal), Dr Fazal Mohammed (Associate Professor of Psychiatry) and Dr Sr Liza spoke on the occasion. 

 World Mental Health Week Awards were presented to Carers and Families.

The meeting discussed various aspects of 'psychological first aid' and the importance of equipping community gate keepers including teachers, social workers, religious leaders, police and administrators about its basic tenets. This was followed by a 'Mental Health Exhibition'.

 Photo Caption: Rev Fr Mathew Punakulam (Administrator, Pushpagiri) delivers the inaugural address during WMH Week celebrations at Tiruvalla, India. Dr Fazal Mohammed, Dr Prasad Cheermattom, Prof Roy Kallivayalil and Prof G Sukumaran are also seen. 


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