President Comment: 2018 World Mental Health Day

The World Health Organization annually recognises World Mental Health Day on 10 October 2018, “with the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilizing efforts in support of mental health” (WHO, 2018).

World Mental Health Day facilitates opportunities for all partners working in the field of mental health to discuss their work, to address the various needs of diverse communities the world over in order to make mental health care a global reality. The theme for this year is Young People and Mental Health in a Changing World.

Adolescence and early adulthood are characterised by extreme change, and is often associated with stress, much of which may go undetected. The WHO recognises that if not detected and managed, such stress may lead to mental illness in a variety of forms, noting that almost half of all mental illness begins by the age of 14. In terms of the burden of disease among adolescents, depression is the third leading cause and suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15-29-year-olds (WHO, 2018). Nowadays there is an evolving understanding of the vital importance of building and fostering mental resilience from early stages and across the adolescent years in order to cope with the adversities of contemporary society.

WHO details of the 2018 World Mental Health Day may be accessed at:

Further details of previous World Mental Health Days may be accessed at: