A Date to Remember: October 10, 2023
With nearly one in five people experiencing mental health issues at some point in their lives, these statistics sadly rise to approximately 60% of university students. Around 44% of this is usually depression and anxiety. Just looking at these sobering statistics is enough to grasp how serious the situation is: In the US, suicide is the second leading cause of death in university students.
You can see that it’s really important to destigmatise mental health and promote understanding, support, and access to resources. By highlighting the importance of mental health and breaking down the negative attitudes and beliefs surrounding it, we can help create a society where everyone feels comfortable seeking help and support when they need it. Don’t let this year’s World Mental Health Day pass by. Take the time to educate yourself and others and show your support for mental health.
The Theme of World Mental Health Day 2023: Celebrating The Power of Community Kindness
World Mental Health Day, started by the World Federation for Mental Health, first took place on 10 October 1992 and has been celebrated on this date ever since. For a brief definition from the World Health Organization, World Mental Health Day aims to ‘raise awareness of mental health issues around the world and to mobilise efforts in support of mental health.’ While last year’s theme was ‘Make mental health and well-being for all a global priority’, World Mental Health Day 2023’s theme is celebrating the power of community kindness.
First, on a more general note, we should know that Mental health day addresses all issues surrounding mental health (including mental illness, which you can also refer to as mental health conditions). Let’s have a look at both mental health and mental illness to differentiate between the two:
- Mental illness is diagnosed by a medical professional according to a set of criteria (examples include OCD, schizophrenia, clinical depression, and General Anxiety Disorder) and severely impacts a person’s ability to cope with and function in life.
- Mental health, on the whole, is always there (everyone has mental health, but not everyone has a mental illness) and refers to your overall mental well-being (which can be good or bad depending on different circumstances and periods in your life). Mental health is holistic in that it’s also about your physical and social well-being.
Knowing the difference between the two can help you understand the ones suffering from mental health issues or mental illness.
Furthermore, there is of course a reason why community kindness is so powerful and important. The way you interact with others on a day-to-day basis can play a huge role in your mental health. So participating in this year’s world mental health day is a great way to spread the word and assist others in being more knowledgeable on the importance of community kindness.
World Mental Health Day 2023 Activities: What You Can Do to Support
Various activities are planned around the world to mark this important day. From educational campaigns to community events, there are many ways to get involved and show support for mental health. Organisations, schools and community groups can also raise awareness by hosting mental health fairs, conducting educational seminars and workshops, and organising charity runs or walks.
Let’s have a look at what you can do on this year’s World Mental Health Day:
- Talk about mental health: Speak openly and honestly about mental health, and encourage others to do the same. By breaking down the stigma surrounding mental health, we can create a more accepting and supportive society.
- Attend events for supporting World Mental Health Day: Check your community calendar for events and activities organised in support of World Mental Health Day. This can include walks, runs, workshops, or panel discussions.
- Donate to mental health organisations: Consider donating to a mental health organisation or charity that supports those in need. Your donation can help fund research, provide resources, and support those struggling with mental health issues.
- Volunteer your time: Volunteering your time can be a great way to make a difference in your community. Look for organisations that support mental health and see if they have any volunteer opportunities available.
- Raise funds: You can also raise funds for mental health by organising your own event or participating in a fundraising challenge. This can be a fun and impactful way to support mental health and raise awareness about the issue.
- Learn about mental health: Take the time to educate yourself about mental health and the various issues surrounding it. This can be through reading books, attending workshops, or simply having conversations with others. For the time being, you can follow some of the social media accounts below to start learning today:
- Mental Health Foundation. Check out this article from MHF on what you can do this Mental Health Day to raise awareness. They have some images you can use for social media.
- Rethink Mental Illness. This charity regularly posts insightful information on mental illnesses, encouraging people to share their experiences. They also share stories of people and how mental illness impacts their life.
- Mental Health First Aid. This is a fantastic organisation where you can get mental health first aid training to help yourself and others.
- PAPYRUS. This UK-based charity is dedicated to preventing young people from dying by suicide.
The Mental Health Foundation also has a campaign for World Mental Health Day that you can get involved in (and you can do it for the month of October, not just on the 10th!). You can check out the screenshot below on how to be a part of this life-saving campaign:
Mental Health Awareness Calendar for 2023
Now, let’s have a look at all the important days though out 2023 for mental awareness:
|February||2 February 2023||Time to Talk Day||For a Day|
|6-12 February 2023||Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week||For a Week|
|27 February – 5 March 2023||Eating Disorders Awareness Week||For a Week|
|March||1 March 2023||Self-Injury Awareness Day||For a Day|
|3 March 2023||University Mental Health Awareness Day||For a Day|
|13-19 March 2023||Neurodiversity Celebration Week||For a Week|
|17 March 2023||World Sleep Day||For a Day|
|20 March 2023||International Day of Happiness||For a Day|
|27 March – 2 April 2023||World Autism Acceptance Week||For a Week|
|30 March 2023||World Bi-Polar Awareness||For a Day|
|April||1 – 30 April 2023||Stress Awareness Month||For a Month|
|1 – 30 April 2023||World Autism Month||For a Month|
|2 April 2023||World Autism Awareness Day||For a Day|
|7 April 2023||World Health Day||For a Day|
|28 April 2023||World Health and Safety at Work Day||For a Day|
|May||1 – 30 May 2023||National Walking Month||For a Month|
|2 – 8 May 2023||Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week||For a Week|
|12 May 2023||ME Awareness Day||For a Day|
|15 – 21 May 2023||Mental Health Awareness Week||For a Week|
|21 May 2023||World Meditation Day||For a Day|
|June||1 – 30 June 2023||Men’s Health Month||For a Month|
|12 – 18 June 2023||Men’s Health Week||For a Week|
|21 June 2023||Father’s Mental Health Awareness Day||For a Day|
|July||24 July 2023||SamaritansAwarenessDay||For a Day|
|September||10 September 2023||World Suicide Prevention Day||For a Day|
|18 – 24 September 2023||Happiness at Work||For a Week|
|October||10 October 2023||World Mental Health Day||For a Day|
|10 – 16 October 2023||OCD Awareness Week||For a Week|
|30 October – 3 November 2023||Stress Awareness Week||For a Week|
|November||1 November 2023||Stress Awareness Day||For a Day|
|December||5 December 2023||International Volunteer Day||For a Day|
If you need some urgent help, please consider getting professional help. Here are some helplines if you’re based in Europe:
|Shout Crisis Text Line||Text SHOUT to 85258|
|Childline if you’re under 19||0800 1111|
|International Helpline Berlin||030 44 01 06 07|
About the Author
Oğulcan Tezcan is a writer, translator, editor, and an accomplished engineer. Oğulcan is also a keen researcher and digital market analyst, with a particular interest in self-development, productivity, and human behaviour.
Fact checked by Sarah Thomas.
Sarah holds degrees in Psychology and International Business from both the UK and Germany and has over 11 years of experience in the education industry. Her particular areas of research interest are Social Psychology and Personality Differences in the workplace. She is passionate about Mental Health Advocacy and cuddling her dog.