World Mental Health Day is celebrated around the globe each year on October 10 with a goal to raise awareness for mental health.
This year, the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) decided on suicide prevention and awareness as the focal point for Mental Health Day. Suicide is the second most common cause of death for individuals ages 15 to 29, however, still affects many individuals despite age, gender, or race.
“It’s important for students to be aware of mental health not only for themselves, but for their classmates, friends and peers,” Mental Health Club Vice President Sophie Talbert said. “Being aware of the signs of mental health struggles can [help] more than we realize. Sometimes all it takes to make a difference is reaching out or assuring others of your support.”
The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that every 40 seconds, someone loses their life to suicide which adds up to roughly 800,000 worldwide yearly. In response, WHO, the International Associate for Suicide Prevention and United for Global Mental Health are sponsoring the day with a “40 seconds of action” challenge.
The goal of this challenge is to enhance awareness, and instill a community of care and love amongst individuals. Suggestions include taking part in “40 seconds of action” include sharing mental health stories, sharing statistics on social media, or speaking to a trustworthy individual regarding ongoing feelings.
“Although we aren’t hosing any events for World Mental Health Day, we will be posting reminders on Instagram and encouraging FSC students to spread awareness through social media,” Talbert said.
Talbert encourages students to participate in World Mental Health Day by posting on social media, checking on loved ones and even peers who appear to be struggling.
“Sometimes people are suffering in silence, so students can make it known that they are willing to listen to whoever needs to talk,” Talbert said. “Most importantly, they can encourage going to the counseling center, especially when there is a situation that goes beyond their capabilities.”
World Mental Health Day was first celebrated on Oct. 10, 1992 as an initiative set by the WMHF and is recognized by leaders and organizations worldwide. The goal for this event is to improve awareness and understand preventative methods and treatments for the one in four people affected by mental health issues.
To participate in World Mental Health Day, WHO encourages the use of the #40seconds and #WorldMentalHealthDay on social media. In addition, the organizations calls for the privacy of individuals battling mental illness specifically in regards to sharing details without consent.
On campus, the Counseling Center provides individual, couples and group counseling sessions lasting roughly 30 to 50 minutes in the center located in the first floor of the Thrift Building. In case of emergency, campus safety is available by phone at 863-680-4305. In addition, the Peace River Center located in Lakeland provides individualized mental health treatment as well as crisis counseling and intervention.
National Hotlines and Resources include the National Suicide Hotline reachable at 1-800-273-8255, the Crisis Intervention Crisis text line at 741741 as well as the Suicide Prevention App.