In 2019, an estimated one in eight people globally was living with a mental disorder. During the pandemic, this number has grown as the pandemic has taken - and continues to take - its toll on mental health. And according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the services, skills and funding available for mental health remain in short supply and fall far below what is needed, especially in low- and middle-income countries.
World Mental Health Day was established in 1992 by the World Federation for Mental Health, which is a global mental health organisation with members in more than 150 countries. The first two years, the day was celebrated under the general theme of supporting mental health. From 1994, the day is celebrated every year with a special theme.
In the following years, the World Health Organisation (WHO) started supporting World Mental Health Day, working together with the World Federation for Mental Health. The WHO sees the day as an opportunity to have a massive scale-up given to the investment made in the support of mental health.
Make mental health and well-being for all a global priority
On World Mental Health Day 2022, the theme is “Make mental health & well-being for all a global priority”. According to the WHO, “the day this year will be an opportunity for people with mental health conditions, advocates, governments, employers, employees and other stakeholders to come together to recognise progress in this field and to be vocal about what we need to do to ensure mental health and well-being become a global priority for all.”
Better Internet for Kids for World Mental Health Day
Here on the Better Internet for Kids portal, we are always looking at issues relating to health and online well-being. Have a look at our articles and recourses on the topic of mental health:
- Cyberbullying can have a significant impact on your mental health. From sending malicious or threatening messages to spreading unpleasant personal matters in the virtual environment, or hacking accounts on social networks and changing them in order to ridicule others, children can be subjected to a range of humiliating situations online that they need help responding to. The Romanian Safer Internet Centre has written an article on the role of teachers in combatting cyberbullying.
- The Portuguese Safer Internet Centre has introduced an interactive game called "Eu e os Outros". The game shows the importance of firstly considering mental health in order to invest in prevention measures and is aimed at 12-to-18-year-olds. Read more about the game.
- The Slovenian Safer Internet Centre has conducted a study that shows that content on social networks has a strong influence on the well-being of young people. Failure to live up to such beauty standards imposed by unattainable and often graphically altered pictures online can have a negative impact on the well-being and mental health of young people. Read more about the study by the Slovenian Safer Internet Centre.
- In a time where there are lots of conflicts happening, such as the war in Ukraine, it becomes quite common to develop a feeling of powerlessness towards current events. While it is a natural reaction to crisis situations, it generally comprises a mix of unpleasant emotions including, to various degrees, paralysis, intense sadness and apathy or resignation. The Austrian Safer Internet Centre gives tips on how to fight the feeling of helplessness during conflicts and crises.
- The Slovenian Safer Internet Centre has created a leaflet called ‘Mental health and the internet’. The leaflet contains tips on how to take care of your well-being when using the Internet and how to maintain a positive attitude towards it. Read the leaflet in Slovenian here and watch interactive online shows on the same topic here.