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World Mental Health Day: Mental Health in an Unequal world

World Mental Health Day, run by the World Foundation for Mental Health and recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO), happens on 10th October every year. The aim is to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world and to mobilise efforts in order to support mental well-being.

It comes exactly a month after World Suicide Prevention Day.  The theme of this year’s World Suicide Prevention Day was “Create hope through action.” By being more aware of our own mental health needs and those of the people around us, taking action and offering support, which is what World Mental Health Day promotes, the hope must be that there are fewer deaths by suicide.

This year’s theme for World Mental Health Day aims to highlight the inequalities that exist between richer and poorer countries in terms of access to mental health services. Access to good mental health services is often determined by where we live or who we are. We are all only too aware of the difficulty many people find in accessing the services they need in the UK. How much more difficult it must be in developing nations.

On this year’s day, October 10th, ITN News will be launching a new news  style programme:  Forward Together for Mental Health in collaboration with the charity Mental Health UK.  The pandemic has made the public more aware of the importance of good mental health, particularly with regard to the demand for services at a time when greater investment is needed in not only these services but also wider community support. This support includes areas such as physical well-being, having strong social links, safe secure housing, financial and employment support. All of these things help us to sustain our mental well-being.

What can you do to help mark the day?

  • Start a conversation with someone. This can help them and you. Our recent blog will help you with ideas on how to do this
  • Speak openly about mental health
  • Share your story with others.
  • Look after yourself, including exercise and sleep

To mark the day, Jackie Scruton, a Jonathan’s Voice volunteer, will be running her first ever 10K race aptly named the Goose Fair Gallop. Jackie writes “This is a win, win event for me. Firstly, running helps me to stay strong mentally and secondly, I am raising funds for Jonathan’s Voice.”

What could your organization do to create a mentally healthy workplace? In July IP Inclusive launched its Senior Leaders’ Pledge  https://ipinclusive.org.uk/newsandfeatures/the-ip-inclusive-senior-leaders-pledge/  One of the commitment is  “Building trust and safe spaces throughout the organisation.”

Jonathan’s Voice can help your organization support the mental health and wellbeing of your people, build trust and safe spaces and create a positive working culture. We provide bespoke training and expert consultation to leaders. Our consultants are experienced NHS consultants and line managers. Our invited trainers and speakers are selected because of her mental health and training expertise. There is no charge. Get in touch at info@jonathansvoice.org.uk  for a preliminary discussion. We look forward to hearing from you.

Val McCartney and Jackie Scruton.

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