World Mental Health Day 2021: When is it? Why do we mark it? And what is this year's theme?

World Mental Health Day this year will focus on inequalities in society.

Friday, 8th October 2021, 5:45 pm
World Mental Health Day 2021 (Getty Images via Canva Pro)

Each year the event aims to raise awareness, educate, and decrease the stigma around mental health.

In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been a significant impact on the mental health of people around the world.

People have been left devastated by the death of their loved ones, job losses and insecurity as economies are hit, and social isolation from lockdowns and safety measures.

This global rupture has also highlighted the stark inequalities in our society when it comes to accessing healthcare for mental health conditions.

World Mental Health Day this year will aim to address some of these issues affecting people across the planet. Here’s when it takes place, what it aims to do, and how you can get help.

When is World Mental Health Day in 2021?

World Mental Health Day will take place on Sunday, October 10.

This year’s theme is “Mental Health in an Unequal World,” aiming to address the deepening inequalities in our society.

It will look at the inequalities suffered by those due to poverty, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, and human rights violations.

The theme also aims to highlight how access to mental health services remains unequal.

According to the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH), between 75-95 per cent of people with mental disorders in low and middle-income countries are unable to access mental health services at all.

And lack of investment in mental health disproportionate to the overall health budget contributes to the mental health treatment gap, the organisation says.

Why do we need a World Mental Health Day?

“The Covid-19 pandemic has further highlighted the effects of inequality on health outcomes and no nation, however rich, has been fully prepared for this.,” says Professor Gabriel Ivbijaro of the WFMH.

"The pandemic has and will continue to affect people, of all ages, in many ways: through infection and illness, sometimes resulting in death bringing bereavement to surviving family members; through the economic impact, with job losses and continued job insecurity; and with the physical distancing that can lead to social isolation.

“We need to act, and act urgently.”

World Mental Health Day is an opportunity for organisations to raise awareness and funds for their work, for people to reach out to oneanother and call for change.

Which organisations in Scotland can help with mental health?

Here are some organisations which provide support for those struggling with their mental health in Scotland.

- NHS 24 Mental Health Hub by calling 111

- Samaritans – call 116 123 at any time of the day or night

- Breathing Space – confidential phoneline for over-16s feeling low, anxious, or depressed

- Childline – for children and young people, call 0800 1111