By Averi Brayton,
On Thursday, Oct. 10, the world celebrated World Mental Health Day to acknowledge and bring awareness to mental illness and to remove the stigma around the topic. The United States is one out of the 150 countries participating.
This year, there was a greater focus on suicide prevention.
“Forty seconds of action” was the term used to raise awareness about how to get involved in suicide prevention. This arose from the statistic that one person in the world dies every 40 seconds by suicide.
Davis High students like senior Robert Schacherbauer are very supportive of World Mental Health Day and believes it has a big impact on people.
“It can positively benefit one’s day-to-day attitudes towards others and about yourself,” Schacherbauer said.
Clinical psychologist and public speaker Mitchell Adler has studied the effects of spreading awareness about suicide prevention, and believes awareness “highlights the importance of educating folks about the risks of suicide and how best to proactively raise awareness of resources for folks at risk.”
“Some people worry that if you talk about suicide more publicly then it might increase the likelihood of people acting on it. However, the research does not support that belief,” Adler said.
Adler believes that the stigma around mental health issues are in part because of a lack of education about mental health problems. Spreading information is a major reason for celebrating World Mental Health Day.
DHS student sophomore Ella Helge agrees with Adler about why people celebrate World Mental Health Day.
“[It’s important] in order to reduce social stigma and raise awareness about problems related to mental health, or to improve upon their own mental health,” Helge said.
Helge believes that it is good that World Mental Health Day focused on suicide prevention this year, claiming “it’s important to acknowledge suicide prevention because suicide is a very real problem that won’t get better unless people acknowledge and take steps to reduce it.”
According to Adler, it is important to celebrate mental health on a worldwide day.
“Raising awareness worldwide will help all cultures as long as we learn how to do so with respect and consideration for differences.”