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World Mental Health Day is a special day organized by the World Federation for Mental Health. It celebrates mental health awareness and unifies diverse agencies and communities for that purpose. It is celebrated annually. This year, the day is scheduled on 10 October 2019 with a particular focus on suicide prevention. Supporting partners of the day are the World Health Organization, United for Global Mental Health, and the International Association for Suicide Prevention.
See the fact file below for more information on the World Mental Health Day or alternatively, you can download our 24-page World Mental Health Day worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
WHAT IS MENTAL HEALTH?
- Mental health is one part in the holistic health and wellness of a person.
- Mental health refers to the psychological, cognitive, and emotional condition and well-being of a person.
- The way to assess a person’s mental health is to observe how they think, feel, and act.
- Mental health may also refer to the absence of mental illness or mental health disorders.
IMPORTANCE OF MENTAL HEALTH
- It is important to be mentally healthy because our daily lives, activities, and relationships, are affected by it.
- Our physical health may also be affected by mental health – the two are not mutually exclusive.
- The well-being of a person is not measured by physical health only, but by his or her mental health as well.
- Mental illness knows no age, gender, ethnicity, or social class.
- Every person must take their mental health seriously because it is essential to a good and fulfilling life.
BACKGROUND OF WORLD MENTAL HEALTH DAY
- The first time World Mental Health Day was celebrated was on 10 October 1992.
- Deputy Secretary-General Richard Hunter of the World Federation for Mental Health initiated it.
- For its first two years of celebration, the day had no specific theme.
- The general aim of the celebration then was to promote mental health education and forward advocacy to the masses.
- In 1994, World Mental Health Day had its first theme: “Improving the Quality of Mental Health Services throughout the World”, as suggested by Secretary-General Eugene Brody.
- Since then, the day has had a specific theme in line with mental health advocacy.
- In 2018, the theme was “Young People and Mental Health in a Changing World.”
- For 2019, the theme is “Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention”.
- Suicide is the act of ending one’s own life.
- Poor mental health, emotional turmoil, and inescapable pain are the core causes of suicide.
- People who commit suicide are often sensitive to triggers that could lead them to the irreversible decision of taking their own life.
- It is of utmost importance to build a world and culture that cares for the mentally ill so that they can recover from a poor state of mental health.
- Mental health awareness and education is the first step to saving someone’s life.
- That is why suicide prevention is the focus of this year’s World Mental Health Day.
- According to the World Health Organization, one person loses their life to suicide every 40 seconds.
- On World Mental Health Day, all partner organizations and participating communities will help raise awareness of the extent of suicide and educate people on the important role we play in preventing it.
COMMON MENTAL ILLNESSES AND DISORDERS
- To gear up for the celebration of World Mental Health Day, it is important to familiarize ourselves with common mental illnesses and disorders.
- Mental health disorders, or mental illnesses, are disorders that influence the way a person thinks, feels, and behaves.
- Common mental health disorders are anxiety, depression, panic disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
- Anxiety disorder is the condition of being in a state of increased worry and excessive apprehension.
- It is normal to experience feelings of anxiety and apprehension, but having an anxiety disorder is an extreme and persistent form of it.
- Extreme anxiety may manifest itself through a panic attack.
- It is also recurring and is often disproportionate to the actual trigger.
- People with anxiety may experience rapid beating of the heart, nausea, and high blood pressure.
- Symptoms of an anxiety disorder include, but are not limited to, difficulty in sleeping and/or concentrating, uncontrollable and inexplicable feelings of worry, apprehension, fear, and restlessness.
- It is normal to feel sad, or experience an episode of depression when you’ve experienced loss or trauma, but when that feeling stays over a period of time and intensifies into levels of hopelessness and worthlessness, the feeling may be classified as a mental health disorder, namely depression.
- Like other mental illnesses, clinical depression may only be given as a diagnosis by mental health professionals and licensed doctors.
- Symptoms of clinical depression include, but are not limited to, sudden weight gain or weight loss, prolonged feelings of worthlessness, lack of focus, recurring feelings of tiredness even without intense physical activity, and experiencing difficulty sleeping, eating, and doing daily activities.
- Clinical depression may affect one’s physical health and cause back or joint pain, insomnia, and digestive disorders, among others.
- Clinical depression is treated and managed through therapy and medicine.
- A person who has clinical depression may have thoughts about self-harm or suicide, so it is very important to keep an eye out for warning signs that may indicate depression.
- It doesn’t take a mental health professional to help and support a person who is clinically depressed. Being a good friend to them and caring for them in ways they need are enough to show empathy and care.
- A person who is experiencing a panic attack suddenly feels extremely overwhelmed and terrified.
- He or she may exhibit the following symptoms: rapid heartbeat, trembling, shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea, chills, and feeling that he or she is in danger or dying, among others.
- A panic attack may last several minutes and even up to several hours.
- A person who has experienced a panic attack more than once and is anxious about it happening again may have a panic disorder.
- A psychotherapist may suggest cognitive behavioral therapy to people with panic disorders.
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder is characterized by obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors that are repetitive.
- Obsessive thoughts are recurring, uncontrollable thoughts paired with negative and distressing judgment and perception.
- Compulsive behavior is the act of doing something over and over and non-stop without the real need to.
- People with obsessive-compulsive disorder feel powerless to stop their repetitive behavior and compulsive habits.
- Doctors do physical tests first to rule out other possible illnesses.
- Psychotherapy is prescribed to OCD patients.
POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER
- People who have experienced a traumatic incident in the past may develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
- Long after the traumatic event, people with PTSD still experience disturbing thoughts and feelings which are intense and recurring.
- Symptoms of PTSD include, but are not limited to feeling alienated; intense feelings of fear, sadness, worry, or anger; having nightmares; and intense negative reactions to certain situations, people, and places that remind them of the trauma.
- Common treatments for PTSD include medication and psychotherapy.
COPING MECHANISMS FOR STRESS
- Stress is a common factor in all mental health disorders.
- That is why managing stress is important in treating mental illnesses.
- Strategies to manage stress in everyday life are called coping mechanisms.
- Coping mechanisms include, but are not limited to, having a support group, exercising, doing a relaxing activity, understanding what causes stress and preventing it, talking about the way you’re feeling, and making light of an intense situation through humor.
World Mental Health Day Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the World Mental Health Day across 24 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use World Mental Health Day worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the World Mental Health Day which is a special day organized by the World Federation for Mental Health. It celebrates mental health awareness and unifies diverse agencies and communities for that purpose. It is celebrated annually. This year, the day is scheduled on 10 October 2019 with a particular focus on suicide prevention. Supporting partners of the day are the World Health Organization, United for Global Mental Health, and the International Association for Suicide Prevention.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- World Mental Health Day Facts
- Happy Day!
- Yes to Mental Health
- No to Suicide
- Defining Disorders
- Symptom Sketch
- Complete the Treatment
- Word Map
- Decode the Solution
- How I Cope With Stress
- Deal With It Differently
- Mental Health Mural
Link/cite this page
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Link will appear as World Mental Health Day Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, September 25, 2019
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.