World Mental Health Day 2023

Today, we commemorate World Mental Health Day with the theme “Mental Health is a universal human right“. This year’s theme, set by the WHO, aims to raise awareness, improve knowledge, and inspire activities that promote and protect everyone’s mental health as a human right.

As shared by the WHO, “Mental health is a basic human right for all. Everyone, whoever and wherever they are, has the right to the highest attainable standard of mental health. This includes the right to be protected from mental health risks, the right to available, accessible, acceptable, and good quality care, and the right to liberty, independence, and inclusion in the community”.

Good mental health is vital to our overall health and well-being. Yet, one in eight people globally are living with mental health conditions, “which can impact their physical health, their well-being, how they connect with others, and their livelihoods. Mental health conditions are also affecting an increasing number of adolescents and young people”.

Mental health and substance [mis]use are often closely interlinked. For example, when focusing on adolescents, poor mental health can affect school, grades, decision-making, and health, and can cause behavioural risks. Substance use is often used as a strategy to cope with emotional, family, or relational difficulties and can severely impact an adolescent’s mental and physical well-being. However, substance use does not improve the overall situation but can worsen it. Hence, co-morbid prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, and recovery programmes are essential.

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