World Mental Health Day October 10th 2014
Today is World Mental Health Day. This year, the focus is on schizophrenia. It is estimated that 26 million people worldwide suffer from schizophrenia but it remains an illness which most people know very little about, and which few people are willing to discuss openly.
This is what makes the Mental Health Foundation’s work all the more important; people need to be more aware of mental illness, so we can talk about it more, give better support to friends and family, and ensure that health services get the funding they need to provide better care.
The charity Rethink Mental Illness has also launched a campaign in support of Mental Health Day to highlight the fact that on average, people diagnosed with schizophrenia die 20 years younger than the general population. This is linked not only to the physical side effects of the medication prescribed, but also often because people do not give enough weight to physical health symptoms reported by someone suffering with a mental illness.
Talking about mental illness is the first step we all need to take to start breaking down this taboo, and moving towards better mental health services.