World Mental Health Day

This is a day for global mental health, awareness and advocacy against the social stigma sometimes associated with mental health problems. It was first celebrated in 1992 at the initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health, a global mental health organisation with members and contacts in more than 150 countries. 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' lives worldwide.

Research tells us that one in four adults and one in ten children are likely to have a mental health problem in any given year. This can have a profound impact on the lives of tens of millions of people across the UK, and can affect their ability to sustain relationships, work, or just get through the day. However, an ill-informed and damaging attitude among some people exists around mental health that can make it difficult for some to seek help. It is estimated that only about a quarter of people with a mental health problem in the UK receive ongoing treatment, leaving the majority of people grappling with mental health issues on their own, seeking help or information, and dependent on the informal support of family, friends or colleagues.

Many mental health charities operating across the UK are trying to confront this stigma through research that should help understand patterns of mental health problems, their causes and solutions. The hope is that they will help break down barriers that inhibit people to seek help and support, with the long term hope that the statistics of the number of sufferers will reduce.

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