The World Federation for Mental Health President Dr Ingrid Daniels has announced the theme for World Mental Health Day, Sunday 10th October 2021 as ‘Mental Health in an Unequal World’.
As we have seen throughout 2020 and early 2021 many inequalities have been come to the fore. Few more acutely that the access to good health care throughout the pandemic.
All over the world, we are seeing near constant news surrounding inequalities in so many areas. These include but are not limited to race, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation among others AND of course those who live with mental ill health conditions.
With inequalities and the number of people living in poverty increasing, so too do we see heightened sensitivities, anger, and frustration among the population. It is inevitable then that at the same time we are seeing a rise in anxiety. That anxiety can quickly lead to more acute mental health conditions and the impact of that on our ability to self-regulate in turn affects our individual and collective behaviours.
Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion has never been higher on the agenda in political, social, and business arenas. Where we concentrate today on the ‘Mental Health in an unequal world’ theme, we must be honest with ourselves and acknowledge that we are living in a world where polarization is increasing.
The World Federation for Mental Health was formed in 1948, another significant time in our history when the World War was ending, and we found ourselves with major economic challenges and mental ill health crisis. We have, as a society taken our eye off the mental health ball but thankfully this was highlighted prior to the start of the pandemic mainly through these institutions and industries. This gave us a small head start however the Covid 19 pandemic has touched every part of the world and no matter how economically strong or how excellent the health care system no nation was prepared for the impact of such an event. Our communities and societal structures are delicate, and we have suffered because of this unpreparedness.
The pandemic has negatively affected people, in all parts of society and in many ways. We have seen infection and illness, (long and short), death and bereavement but also economic impact, with job losses, job insecurity and social isolation.
The work of the NFDC and its partners is intended to give you access to the tools and techniques we can all use to further highlight and positively impact our family and friends mental and physical health and therefore businesses through the NFDC Mental Health and Wellbeing hub.
Everything we do is connected and so as we expand our conversations at NFDC into that of Equality, Diversity, Net Zero and the wider Social Value agenda know that the common threads of inclusivity, health and happiness are at its core. After all, it wouldn’t be the first time we have acknowledged that people must come first in any company or community for us to thrive.
And here, the final words for today from the World Federation for Mental Health.
‘The 2021 World Mental Health Day campaign 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.
Be a partner, be an advocate.’