About the World Mental Health Day


About the World Mental Health Day

World Mental Health Day was observed for the first time on 10 October 1992. The day, officially commemorated every year on October 10th, aims to raise awareness in the global community about the critical mental health agendas – with a unifying voice through collaboration with various partners – to take action and to create lasting change.

It was started as an annual activity of the World Federation for Mental Health by the then Deputy Secretary-General Richard Hunter. 

In 1994, at the suggestion of then Secretary-General Eugene Brody, a theme for the Day was used for the first time. It was “Improving the Quality of Mental Health Services throughout the World.” Within three years, the Day had become a valuable occasion for interested government departments, organisations and committed individuals to arrange programs to focus on aspects of mental health care.

World Mental Health Day celebrates awareness for the global community in an empathetic way, with a unifying voice, helping people feel hopeful by empowering them to take action and create lasting change.

Themes So Far

The World Mental Health Day program was created to help promote mental health and create awareness about the issues associated with mental illness. Since the early days, the Federation has chosen a theme to be promoted in its planning kit each year. The themes that WFMH has announced so far are: 

Themes of all the WMHDs:

  • 1992-93- An Annual Activity of WFMH
  • 1994- Improving the Quality of Mental Health Services throughout the World
  • 1996- Women and Mental Health
  • 1997- Children and Mental Health
  • 1998- Mental Health and Human Rights
  • 1999- Mental Health and Ageing
  • 2000-01- Mental Health and Work
  • 2002- The Effects of Trauma and Violence on Children & Adolescents
  • 2003- Emotional and Behavioural Disorders of Children & Adolescents
  • 2004- The Relationship Between Physical and Mental Health: co-occurring disorders
  • 2005- Mental and Physical Health Across the Life Span
  • 2006- Building Awareness –Reducing Risk: Mental Illness & Suicide
  • 2007- Mental Health in A Changing World: The Impact of Culture and Diversity
  • 2008 – Making Mental Health a Global Priority: Scaling up Services through Citizen Advocacy and Action
  • 2009 – Mental Health in Primary Care: Enhancing Treatment and Promoting Mental Health
  • 2010- Mental Health and Chronic Physical Illnesses
  • 2011- The Great Push: Investing in Mental Health
  • 2012-  Depression: A Global Crisis
  • 2013- Mental Health and Older Adults
  • 2014- Living With Schizophrenia
  • 2015- Dignity in Mental Health
  • 2016- Psychological and Mental Health First Aid
  • 2017- Mental Health in the Workplace
  • 2018- Young People and Mental Health in a Changing World
  • 2019- Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention
  • 2020- Mental Health for all – Greater investment – Greater access
  • 2021- Mental Health in an Unequal World
  • 2022- Make mental health & well-being for all a global priority