The World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) has officially set the 2022 mental health day theme: ‘Make mental health and wellbeing for all a global priority’.
The aim of World Mental Health Day is a chance to talk about mental health in general, discuss how we need to look after it, and how important it is to get help if you are struggling. Everyone knows the mantra ‘prevention is better than a cure’.
The WFMH draws attention to the existence of mental health problems in day-to-day life, families, workplaces and certain communities that are at higher risk due to social, economic and environmental circumstances. The WFMH highlights how mental health can impact everyone and anyone, which is why, for over 70 years, they have been campaigning for mental health to be treated on a par with physical health.
The goal of the WFMH is to do as much as possible to prevent mental ill-health – as individuals and as a society. The federation calls on national and local governments to prioritise getting to the root cause of these issues, and working to reduce the factors known to pose a risk to people’s mental health. In parallel, the WFMH is working to enhance those areas known to protect it which in turn creates the all-important conditions needed for people to thrive.
‘Mental health is a multi-faceted area of health and wellbeing, and by its nature that calls for a multi-faceted approach if the support is going to be effective. The default option for many may be to offer access to counselling, but this isn’t going to be right for everyone, and if that’s all that’s offered, it may well fall short.
‘Mental health issues span a vast array of areas, including stress and anxiety, chronic depression, psychosis, PTSD, and drug and alcohol abuse. A one-size-fits-all approach to offering support isn’t good enough, people need specialist support if they’re really going to be helped.
‘When people need help, their specific situation needs to be assessed, ideally by a specialist in mental health. They then need to be directed to the most appropriate pathway for them.
‘Those looking to implement support need to be aware of any exclusions in what they want to offer. We believe that no mental health condition should be excluded, everyone should be able to access support, whatever their mental health concern.
‘While some may need more significant therapy, which may be available from other areas such as via private healthcare, many more will need to use the NHS. It’s equally important that while they wait, that they have specialist support in the meantime. And if they do use the NHS, that they have help in navigating it so they can get the most appropriate help for them.
‘It is very positive that support for mental health is becoming more widespread, but it’s vital that it’s good quality support. In practice we believe it needs to be comprehensive and provided by specialists; it shouldn’t be confined to a strict timeframe and it shouldn’t exclude conditions. Before mental health support is implemented, we’d urge everyone to be clear about the detail, or they may find that what they offer falls short.’
Christine Husbands, managing director of RedArc
Joanne is the editor for Workplace Wellbeing Professional and has a keen interest in promoting the safety and wellbeing of the global workforce. After earning a bachelor's degree in English literature and media studies, she taught English in China and Vietnam for two years. Before joining Work Well Pro, Joanne worked as a marketing coordinator for luxury property, where her responsibilities included blog writing, photography, and video creation.