This year’s World Mental Health Day (it was celebrated last Saturday) takes place at a time when our daily lives have been significantly altered as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The last few months have brought many challenges: for health personnel, who provide their services in difficult circumstances, and go to work with the fear of taking Covid-19 home; for students, who have had to adapt to distance classes, with little contact with teachers and classmates, and full of anxiety about their future; for workers, whose livelihoods are threatened; for the huge number of people trapped in poverty or in fragile humanitarian settings with very little protection against Covid-19; and for people with mental health conditions, many of whom are even more socially isolated than before.
Not to mention managing the pain of losing a loved one, sometimes without being able to say goodbye.
The economic consequences of the pandemic are already being felt everywhere, as companies lay off staff in an attempt to save the business, or are forced to close completely.
Based on past emergencies, mental health and psychosocial support needs are expected to increase significantly in the coming months and years.
Investing in national and international mental health programs, which have been underfunded for years, is more important than ever.
For this reason, this year’s World Mental Health Day campaign has set out to achieve increased investments in favor of mental health.
Join the campaign
The campaign, jointly conceived by the World Health Organization, United for Global Mental Health and the World Federation for Mental Health, is based on the realization that, despite the fact that mental health has attracted increasing global attention in recent years, it has not received proportional investments.
The campaign offers us the opportunity to bet in favor of life: at the individual level, to take concrete measures in favor of our own mental health and to support friends and family affected by mental disorders; as employers, to take steps to implement employee wellness programs; at the government level, to commit to establishing or expanding mental health services; and, as journalists, to explain what more can and should be done to make mental health a reality for all.
Given the recommendations for physical distancing in force in countries around the world, the main activities of this campaign organized by WHO and its partners will take place online.
We also encourage World Mental Health Day event organizers to launch online activities where possible.
When holding face-to-face activities, it is important to comply with the measures of physical distancing and infection prevention, in line with the regulations of national and local authorities.