October 10: World Mental Health Day
The World Mental Health Day (WHD) is organized by World Federation for Mental Health and is supported by WHO – World Health Organization all over the world. The main objective of WHD is to raise awareness about mental health issues all over the world. It provides an opportunity to the stakeholders to talk about their work and inspire others.
This year WHO is joined by International Association for Suicide Prevention and United for Global Mental Health to support the event.
Theme: Suicide Prevention
This year, the focus of WHD is on suicide prevention. According to WHO, every 40 seconds, a person loses their life to suicide.
According to WHO, every year around 800,000 people die of suicide all over the world. 79%of the suicides happen in middle – income counties. The people dying of suicides belong to the age of 15 to 29 years. It is the second leading cause of death in the category of age.
The day plays an important role in achieving SDG 3: To ensure healthy lives and promote well – being for all ages. The target is to reduce one third premature deaths from non – communicable disease that includes suicides as well.
India and suicides
According Lancet Public Health journal, in 2018 there were around 2.3 lakh deaths due to suicide. There is no other medical related condition that causes such huge number of deaths.
India is yet to frame policies towards suicides. In 1990, China had the highest rate of suicides in the world. The suicide rates reduced greatly after China reduced the access to pesticides! The other countries who have successful policies on suicide include Finland, Sri Lanka and Scotland.