World Mental Health Day

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World Mental Health Day

Leah McCabe

Written by Leah McCabe

Leah McCabe

Leah McCabe

Leah likes writing about health and science subjects. Through her writing she hopes to help people of all backgrounds have equal access to information and quality healthcare.

October 3, 2022 / Read Time 7 minutes

World Mental Health Day | Mental Health Care For All

Mental health struggles have become an increasing problem across the world for the last couple of decades. The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered an unprecedented global mental health crisis.

Globally, more than 70% of people with mental illness receive no formal treatment from health care professionals. According to the National Library of Medicine, the four main reasons people don't seek care are:

  • Lack of knowledge to identify features of mental illnesses

  • Ignorance about how to access treatment

  • Prejudice against people who have mental illness

  • Expectation of discrimination against people diagnosed with mental illness

In this article, we'll talk about World Mental Health Day and provide necessary information to address the above points, regarding when, where, and how to get mental health treatment, as well as how to continue to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health conditions.

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What is World Mental Health Day and When is It?

World Mental Health Day has been held on October 10 every year since 1992. 

The goal is to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world, give mental health providers a chance to talk about their work, and mobilize efforts in support of mental health. 

Learn More: Online Mental Health Services

What Is the Theme for World Mental Health Day 2021?

The World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) President Dr. Ingrid Daniels has announced the theme for World Mental Health Day 2021, which is "Mental Health in an Unequal World."

As the inequality in the world grows more evident with awareness being raised, and the increasing polarity of a global society. Beginning in 2020 and carried into 2021, inequality was highlighted in many aspects of our life such are

  • Race and ethnicity 

  • Sexual orientation and gender identity

  • Lack of respect for human rights in many countries

Professor Gabriel Ivbijaro, MBE JP, and the WFMH Secretary-General stated that "this theme, chosen for 2021, will highlight that access to mental health services remains unequal, with between 75% to 95% of people with mental disorders in low- and middle-income countries unable to access mental health services at all, and access in high income countries is not much better. Lack of investment in mental health disproportionate to the overall health budget contributes to the mental health treatment gap."

Many people who have mental health conditions do not receive the proper treatment, typically due to lack of access. This inequality gap will only continue to grow if these issues are not addressed, which is why they are being highlighted this year as the theme of mental health day 2021. 

Some goals of this year's campaign of Mental Health in an Unequal World are:

  • Support civil societies to play an active role in tackling inequality in their local areas

  • Encourage researchers to share what they know about mental health inequality, including practical ideas about how to tackle this.

When The World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) was created in 1948, it was in response to the mental health crisis that followed World War II. As we experience another world crisis in the form of the COVID global pandemic, we are again experiencing a global crisis that exacerbates existing health, economic, and social inequalities. 

Professor Gabriel Ivbijaro concludes his statement on the 2021 World Mental Health Day campaign by saying that it "provides an opportunity for us to come together and act together to highlight how inequality can be addressed to ensure people are able to enjoy good mental health. We need to act, and act urgently. Be a partner, be an advocate."

Reducing Mental Health Stigma | A Look at the Numbers

If you're experiencing mental illness and are putting off seeking help because of stigma, know you're not alone, and there's nothing to be ashamed of.

In 2017, about 792 million people around the world were estimated to have a mental health disorder. That is about one in ten people.

Also, in 2017, approximately 46.6 million American adults were thought to have a mental illness. That is about one in five American adults.

  • Anxiety: Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness, affecting around 284 million people around the world and about 40 million adults in the United States alone.

  • Depression: Depression is the subsequent most common mental illness, affecting 17.3 million American adults, nearly 2 million American children, and a total of 264 million people around the world. 

The stigma and discrimination surrounding mental health affects not only a person's physical and mental health, but also affects their:

  • Educational opportunities

  • Current and future earning and job prospects

  • Families and loved ones

With this many people affected by mental illness, it is time to put stigma behind us so those suffering can get the help they need.

If you have a mental illness, you are not alone. There are millions of people around the world struggling just like you. Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of and is actually completely normal.

No one feels ashamed when they get a cold or the flu. If we all work together to continue to de-stigmatize mental illness, there's no reason why we can't approach seeking and receiving help in the same way we do physical ailments.

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    Browse our network of top therapist to find one that matches your needs.

  2. 2

    Get private and secure emotional support weekly from your dedicated therapist.

  3. 3

    Experience comprehensive care with unlimited access to your care team and primary care physician.

COVID's Impact on Mental Health

This year, on Mental Health Day, it has been 18 months since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the US, we have access to the vaccine, and some sense of normalcy has returned, while in other countries, COVID transmission rates and hospital admissions remain high. 

We know the significant impact that COVID has had on the mental health of everyone. The people who have been particularly affected are: 

  • Healthcare workers

  • Other frontline workers

  • Students

  • People living alone

  • Those with pre-existing mental health conditions

In May of 2021, during the World Health Assembly, governments from countries around the world recognized the priority that mental health services need to have, and endorsed WHO's Comprehensive Mental Health Action Plan 2013-2030. According to the World Health Organization, "World Mental Health Day presents an opportunity for government leaders, civil society organizations and many others to talk about the steps they are already taking and that they intend to take in support of this goal."

Increased investment in mental health could save lives. Somebody in the world dies by suicide every 40 seconds. That's more than 800,000 deaths per year that could potentially be prevented with proper access to mental health care.

Read: Symptoms of Suicidal Depression and How to Spot Suicidal Behavior

Evidence shows that mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety are 100% treatable.

In addition to preventing needless deaths, increased access to mental health improves the global economy.

Between 2010 and 2030, mental health disorders could cost the world economy up to $16 trillion. Investing in mental health services now could actually save money in the long run.

How to Give Help

You can find an excellent list of ways to help others who are struggling with mental illness on Here are a few quick tips:

  • Find out if they're getting help. If not, help them find the resources they need

  • Ask questions, listen to them, and be supportive

  • Offer to help with everyday tasks like cooking or cleaning

  • Treat them with empathy, compassion, and respect

  • Express your support and concern

Where to Get Mental Health Help

If you need mental health help, there are lots of places you can turn. is a handy starting point. If you have health insurance, your insurance provider can help you find mental health services that are covered through your plan. If you don't have insurance and can't afford help, you can Google "free mental health help near me" to discover local resources.

You can also utilize online therapists for convenient and affordable online therapy.

Additionally, online doctors and psychiatrists can diagnose mental health conditions and even prescribe necessary medications not classified as controlled substances.

If you or someone you know is considering harming themselves or committing suicide and needs help now, call the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988

Remember, all evidence shows that mental health conditions are treatable. Whether it is via lifestyle changes, therapy, medication, or a combination of these, treatments for mental health conditions work.

It is also true that the sooner mental health treatment begins, the better the recovery path is.

There is plenty of help available - all you have to do is reach out. 

Get Mental Health Treatment Online

Our doctors know that mental health is something that needs particular care right now, and acknowledge how crucially important it is to prioritize caring for your mental health. Our doctors have experience with diagnosing people with mental health conditions. From there, your doctor will work with you to come up with a treatment plan. 

Prescribing medication is one way of effectively treating mental health conditions. Your doctor can prescribe medications such as antidepressants or anti-anxiety medication, and work with you to find the right medication in particular and the correct dosage. 

Medicating mental health conditions can sometimes be a long process of trial and error, until finding the right prescription, but your doctor will be there for you every step of the way. Treating mental health conditions can be a journey, and your doctor is here to guide you through it. 

  1. 1

    Browse our network of top therapist to find one that matches your needs.

  2. 2

    Get private and secure emotional support weekly from your dedicated therapist.

  3. 3

    Experience comprehensive care with unlimited access to your care team and primary care physician.

Get Online Therapy

PlushCare now offers online therapy. PlushCare can connect you with our top-tier licensed therapists through an online appointment. Our therapists are specially trained for online therapy and have experience in treating mental health conditions such as: 

  • Depression

  • Anxiety

  • COVID-19 related concerns

PlushCare's therapists can provide virtual support and consistent care.

Read More About Mental Health


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