World Mental Health Day: 10 October 2020 – Theme: ‘Mental Health for All – Greater Investment – Greater Access’

World Mental Health Day: 10 October 2020 – Theme: ‘Mental Health for All – Greater Investment – Greater Access’

The World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) 

The WFMH has announced World Mental Health Day 2020 will take place on Saturday 10 October.  The theme for this year is: Mental Health for All, Greater Investment – Greater Access.

At a time when the world is confronted by the unprecedented mental health consequences and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on billions of people, the WFMH is using the day as a focal point to call for the urgent redress and investment in mental health – a call which they say can no longer be ignored. Now more than ever greater investment in mental health is needed to ensure that everyone, everywhere has access to mental health care. The under investment in mental health has left large treatment gaps globally. Mental health is an investment and not an expense and should be prioritised to avert a further catastrophe.

The worldwide pandemic arose against an already dire mental health landscape that saw mental health conditions on the rise across the globe. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) about 450 million people live with mental disorders that are among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide.

According to the WFMH, the treatment gap remains large with 50% of people with mental disorders in high income countries and 85% of persons in low-and middle income countries having no access to treatment (WHO Report). Fragile health systems have not been able to address or cope with the large treatment gaps and need for mental health care. Nations’ stretched health systems are further stretched and challenged by the increase in demand for mental health interventions as a result of the Covid-19 virus pandemic.

Hard and drastic lockdown measures implemented to reduce COVID-19 transmissions and deaths saw the enforcement of physical isolations and distancing become a new reality disrupting natural social interactions.

Parallel to emotional and health implications, large scale socio-economic fallout was witnessed as markets and economies were destabilised. The overwhelming impact of the virus has revealed and exposed the deep inequalities and levels of poverty experienced by many causing further mental distress and vulnerability.

According to WHO’s ‘Mental Health Atlas’ survey, governments spend on average 3% of their health budgets on mental health, ranging from less than 1% in low-income countries to 5% in high-income countries. The value of investment needed over the period 2016–30 for scaling up treatment, primarily psychosocial counselling and antidepressant medication, amounted to US$ 147 billion (Chisholm, et al, 2016).

Yet the returns far outweigh the costs. The WHO (2019) states that for every US$ 1 put into scaled up treatment for common mental disorders, there is a return of US$ 4 in improved health and productivity. Despite hundreds of millions of people around the world living with mental disorders, mental health has remained in the shadows. Despite a growth in mental health awareness, mental health investment has been stagnant across the globe. It is clear that greater movement and action needs to be seen within countries to increase access to mental health for all.

The WFMH state that while COVID-19 has increased the spotlight on mental health, the stocktaking of how greater access to mental healthcare can be improved must always be a continuous process. We can always do more to strengthen mental health response and support in our communities. These investments are not purely the government’s responsibility, nor should doctors be the only answer for those suffering. These investments are the responsibility of all. More importantly, they indicate that we ourselves are an untapped resource in mental healthcare.

World Mental Health Day is simply not a one-day event however it provides the opportunity to maintain a focus on Mental Health and maintain the attention of governments, policy-makers and all stakeholders to ensure action for greater investment in mental health – making good mental health a reality for all – everyone, everywhere.

The World Federation for Mental Health has put together educational material to support this year’s World Mental Health Day theme and is available for download from the WFMH website on this link:


Mental health problems can affect anyone, any day of the year, but 10 October is a great day to show your support for better mental health and start looking after your own wellbeing.

UK Mental Health Charity ‘MIND’ say that World Mental Health Day 2020 is the most important one yet. The months of lockdown and loss have had a huge impact on us all, and prioritising mental health has never been more important than it is now. That’s why this year MIND wants to bring everyone together to mark the day with their ‘Do One Thing Better For Better Mental Health’ campaign. Making positive change can seem hard, especially during uncertain times, and sometimes, it can be hard to know where to start. MIND urges people to take the opportunity this World Mental Health Day to find out more about the MIND initiative and how you can start with one thing.

Our mental health is just like our physical health: everybody has it and we need to take care of it.

The MIND World Mental Health Day – ‘Do One Thing Better For Better Mental Health’ campaign information can be found at:

Mental health problems affect around one in four people in any given year. We all need to take care of our mental health and wellbeing whether we have a mental health problem or not. Mental wellbeing describes how you are feeling and how well you can cope with day-to-day life. It can change from moment to moment, day to day, month to month or year to year.

MIND has produced a range of information, guidance and some tips and practical steps people can take to improve and maintain their wellbeing, including making time for yourself, building positive relationships and getting active. MIND has information on both common and rarer problems such as:

Living with a mental health problem can often have an impact on day to day life, making things that others might not think about a bit more difficult. MIND has put together some tips and guides to help people cope with everyday things like money, work, university and more. Work can have a significant impact on our mental health and wellbeing, but there are steps we can take to be mentally healthy at work. Read their information on dealing with stress, managing difficult relationships, asking for support and advice on returning to work if you’ve had time off with a mental health problem.

Mental Health Foundation (MHF)

The MHF produce a range of excellent guide books to order:

  • How to look after your mental health
  • How to support mental health at work
  • How to manage and reduce stress
  • How to overcome fear and anxiety
  • How to look after your mental health using mindfulness
  • How to look after your mental health using exercise
  • How to sleep better
  • How to look after your mental health in later life
  • The truth about self-harm

You can find out about prices and how to order any of their publications at this link:

You can order any of the mental health publications listed above at the following link:

or browse their full publications listing here:

Time To Change

Led by MIND and ReThink Mental Health, ‘Time to Change’ is a growing social movement working to change the way people think and act about mental health problems. They’ve already reached millions of people and begun to improve attitudes and behaviour. Time to Change are preparing for World Mental Health Day on 10 October 2020, and are calling on everyone to open up to mental health, to talk and to listen. Time to Change are spreading the word that everyone deserves to feel safe and supported when talking about our mental health. But too often, mental health stigma leaves people feeling isolated and ashamed. At worst, it prevents people getting support, finding employment or having open conversations. They have a range of excellent resources for employers, workers, universities and the general public to help change attitudes this World Mental Health Day. More information and resources are available at:-

Website Links:

World Health Organisation (WHO) –

International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) –

World Federation For Mental Health (WFMH) –

United For Global Mental Health (UFGMH) –



Mental Health Foundation (MHF) –

Time To Change –

Samaritans 24 Hour Helpline

Whatever you’re going through, a Samaritan will face it with you, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Call 116 123 for free


  • WFMH – World Mental Health Day Poster – ‘Mental Health For All’
  • MIND – ‘Do One Thing’ Poster
  • SAMARITANS – ‘SHUSH’ Listening Tips Poster – Top Tips For Becoming A Better Listener
  • Mental Health Foundation – ‘World Mental Health Day’ Poster
  • ‘Time to Change’ Poster

Yours sincerely

Dave Joyce
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer

20LTB490 World Mental Health Day 10 October 2020 – Theme ‘Mental Health for All – Greater Investment – Greater Access’






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