Mental Illness Awareness Week, established by the United States Congress in 1990, is October 3-9. We appreciate the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), especially the Mississippi Chapter, for spearheading this effort in partnership with other groups. The goal of the week is to “raise awareness of mental illness, fight discrimination and provide support.”
Thursday, October 7, is National Depression Screening Day. Mental Health America offers a free online depression screening tool. The screening does not take the place of professional support but can help you know if the things that you are experiencing could be symptoms of depression. Symptoms of depression are not always obvious, including to the person who has them. Being aware of depressive symptoms can lead to better outcomes. Depression is a serious illness and can lead to suicide if left untreated.
Saturday, October 9 is NAMIWalks United Day of Hope. There is still time to join NAMI Mississippi’s NAMIwalks Your Way Mississippi. This is a virtual event and allows you to use your creativity to support mental illness awareness in Mississippi.
We encourage you to check out the stories, resources and informative videos on anxiety, bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder on NAMI’s Mental Illness Awareness Week page. We appreciate NAMI highlighting borderline personality disorder, a mental health condition that seems to be particularly stigmatized. We know that borderline personality disorder, like other mental health conditions, is treatable, there is hope and recovery is possible.
World Mental Health Day, established by the World Health Organization in 1992, is Sunday, October 10. The campaign theme for the day is Mental health care for all: let’s make it a reality. The campaign emphasizes the huge impact that COVID has had on mental health, especially that of front-line workers, but also emphasizes reason for optimism in how governments throughout the world have scaled up mental health efforts in response to the pandemic. The campaign stresses both system level advocacy and taking care of one’s own mental health. Helpful tip sheets about depression and suicide prevention are posted on the website.
The World Health Organization bases its approach to mental health on its Comprehensive Mental Health Action Plan, which was updated in September 2021. The Action Plan relies on six cross-cutting approaches and principals:
- Universal health coverage
- Human rights
- Evidence-based practice
- Life-course approach
- Multi-sectoral approach
- Empowerment of persons with mental disorders and psychosocial disabilities