Qatar Airways marks World Mental Health Day

Clay Curtis
October 12, 2018

"Sadly, mental illness is taboo in many Chinese families and they feel ashamed to even talk about it", she said.

Elaine Peng, a mental health educator in the San Francisco Bay Area, made the remarks on World Mental Health Day, which is observed on October 10 every year, with the objective of raising awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilizing efforts in support of the issue. "Mental health now receives less than 1% of global aid", she wrote. Which makes sense considering over half of mental illnesses start developing when a person in in their teens - by the age of 14, to be exact.

"Earlier this year, the WHO published the Global Mental Health Atlas, which provides information from 177 countries on progress towards achieving the plan's targets", Lady Gaga and Ghebreyesus wrote.

More than a quarter (26%) of people aged 16-24 years and a similar proportion (25%) of people aged 25-34 years had a 12-month mental disorder, compared with 6% of those aged 75-85 years old. In other words, all of us know someone who has struggled.

She said depression is the third leading cause of disease while suicide is the second leading cause among youths of 15 to 29 years. Forty percent said those with mental health issues were "crazy/mad/stupid". "Government investment and development assistance for mental health remain pitifully small", says the report. Young people living in situations such as these are particularly vulnerable to mental distress and illness.

"Many of the problems facing our young people today such as bullying, suicide, the onset of mental illness, the effects of trauma and discrimination require our time and attention, awareness and compassion as well as new programmes and guidelines on how we can protect and empower the next generation".

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It would also be unfair to suggest that this day of recognition doesn't help people, because it does.

"There are few greater examples than the injustices facing those with mental health conditions".

You can't deny the positive impact that talking does.

But at the same time, World Mental Health Day is just that - a day.

Women were more likely to experience mental disorders (22%) than men (18%), with a higher rate of anxiety disorders (18% compared to 11% for men) and affective disorders (7% and 5%).

Being educated about the matter is not only empowering, but it can also bring about empathy for others, help lessen the falsities associated with mental illness and help those suffering from any mental challenges seek the help they need.

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