World Mental Health Day is celebrated every 10th of October in order to create awareness about global mental health education and personal mental health. It was first celebrated in 1992 at the initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health, a global mental health organization with members and contacts in more than 150 countries.
The theme of this year’s World Mental Health Day, observed on 10 October, covers “psychological first aid”.
Psychological first aid:
When terrible things happen in our communities, we can reach out a helping hand to those who are affected. Perhaps you find yourself at the scene of an accident where people are hurt. Perhaps you are a health-care worker or teacher talking with someone from your community who has just witnessed the violent death of a loved one. Perhaps you are called upon as a staff member in a disaster or volunteer to help asylum seekers who have recently arrived in your community. Learning the basic principles of psychological first aid will help you to provide support to people who are very distressed, and, importantly, to know what not to say.
By providing psychological first aid at right time will prevent the affected person from severe mental health damages.
Despite its name, psychological first aid covers both psychological and social support. Just like general health care never consists of physical first aid alone, similarly no mental health care system should consist of psychological first aid alone. Indeed, the investment in psychological first aid is part of a longer-term effort to ensure that anyone in acute distress due to a crisis is able to receive basic support, and that those who need more than psychological first aid will receive additional advanced support from health, mental health and social services.