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What Is World Mental Health Day and How Can Can You Celebrate?

What Is World Mental Health Day and How Can Can You Celebrate?


Large numbers of people are struggling with their mental health and wellness—including physical, cognitive and emotional wellbeing. Fortunately, World Mental Health Day, happening on October 10, is intended to create awareness about mental health and reduce the stigma that can accompany mental health challenges.

Whether or not you personally face mental health challenges, you can honor and celebrate the day through your activities, your advocacy and your approaches.

Importance of Mental Health

What is World Mental Health Day? It began in 1992 based on efforts by the World Federation for Mental Health. Their membership, which spans 150 countries, seeks to bring attention to mental health and its effects across the globe.

Unfortunately, the need for mental health awareness and advocacy is significant. In fact, 63 percent of people said their mental health was poor (35%) or fair (28%), according to a poll by Monster.

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In addition, 44%-38% of people said they were overworked or burned out, based on a survey of 5,000 people by Muse. People reported they lacked joy and felt underappreciated—and 47% said stress was the biggest contributor to their negative experiences.

The stress is real and significant for many groups, as 62% of women and 51% of men ages 18-34 were completely overwhelmed by stress, according to a poll by Stress in America. And in a poll by Cigna, 91% of Gen Zs reported they felt stress and 98% felt burned out.

Celebrate By Sharing

So how can you celebrate World Mental Health Day—or honor it? One of the first ways is to emphasize visibility. Tell your own story of mental health as well as posting, liking and sharing to emphasize and reinforce the importance of mental health.

Celebrate By Connecting

Also honor the day by checking in with people you care about. Connection is one of the primary factors in all kinds of wellbeing. Feeling part of a community and sensing links with others contributes to physical, cognitive and emotional health.

So send a text or and email to a friend. Call a loved one. Stop by and see a neighbor. If someone you know is struggling with mental health, help them feel seen.

And if they’re not, express friendship and compassion—proactively contributing to wellbeing for each of you in the process.

Celebrate By Getting Involved

Another way you can honor the day is by getting educated about mental health. Learn more about its prevalence and the factors which make a difference in mental health. Explore organizations in your community which support mental health and learn how you can volunteer and contribute to positive mental health in your community.

Interestingly, the states with the best conditions for mental health are Nebraska, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Vermont, Colorado, North Dakota and Utah, according to an assessment by Solient.

The analysis is based on the number of health mental health days, access to exercise, mental care access, employment, violent crime rate and safety, air quality and connected youth.

Learn about the unique circumstances contributing to mental health—or detracting from it—in your community, and get involved to improve things where you can.

Celebrate By Influencing Your Employer

Organizations can make a difference with mental health as well. From holding events and posting on internal sites, to encouraging people to share their stories and initiating affinity groups, all of these can make a difference in mental health.

Work is an important part of life and can be the source of esteem and fulfillment. Employers can address the bigger picture of wellbeing by reinforcing a sense of purpose for all jobs, providing opportunities for learning and development and aligning people—as much as possible—with what they enjoy doing. All of these contribute to an overall sense of wellbeing.

Celebrate By Taking Action

It’s important to know that life can be tough and the things that are worth the effort—like great work, great relationships and great impact—take effort. Things will not always be easy, and you can develop resilience by reminding yourself of your capability, your priorities and the network of people who support you.

Celebrate World Mental Health Day by seeking constructive challenges, learning new things and embracing opportunities to stretch your comfort zones. Happiness is the result of wonderful relaxing time with family and friends, but it is also the result of trying new things, positively pushing your capabilities and coming through hard times with new lessons learned.

Agency is when you own your actions and empower yourself to create the future—as much as possible. Research on agency by Thomas Bateman shows that agency is the result of forethought, self management, learning and adapting.

According to Bateman, you can enhance your agency and your mental health by thinking ahead, setting goals and taking action at the same time you’re taking care of yourself and managing your emotions and stress—in addition to reflecting, rethinking and making adjustments where necessary.

Part of mental health is getting help when you need it—and it is growing, learning, adapting and developing your capabilities to deal with all kinds of challenges that emerge in life.

Celebrate and Honor

“Celebrating” World Mental Health Day may seem a bit strange.

It’s really more a matter of honoring the importance of mental health, honoring those who struggle and supporting them—and honoring the processes to create the conditions for a society which is aware of mental health and advocates for the health and wellbeing of its members.




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