World Mental Health Day 2012

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October 10, 2012 is World Mental Health Day and is also the 20th anniversary of World Mental Health Day. This year’s theme is depression. The following description of depression is from the World Health Organization’s website:

“Depression is a common mental disorder, characterized by sadness, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, feelings of tiredness, and poor concentration.

Depression can be long-lasting or recurrent, substantially impairing an individual’s ability to function at work or school or cope with daily life. At its most severe, depression can lead to suicide. When mild, people can be treated without medicines but when depression is moderate or severe they may need medication and professional talking treatments.

Depression is a disorder that can be reliably diagnosed and treated by non-specialists as part of primary health care. Specialist care is needed for a small proportion of individuals with complicated depression or those who do not respond to first-line treatments.”

The World Federation for Mental Health has a pdf that you can download to learn more about depression. Some of the topics in the pdf are:

  • how depression is a global health concern
  • how depression is a consequence of the economic crisis
  • the economic impact of depression and
  • a fact sheet on how to help someone with depression.

Depression affects so many and does not discriminate. An example of this is with the letter that actor and writer Stephen Fry wrote to one of his fans, Crystal Nunn. As Crystal explained:

“I had no idea who to turn to. But I really needed someone to turn to and to ease the pain. So I wrote to Stephen Fry because he is my hero, and he has been through this himself. And low and behold, he replied to my letter, and I will love him eternally for this.”

Stephen Fry’s wonderful reply can be found at Letters of Note.



  1. As I tweeted (yes, me!), I’ve been off the laptop more than on. Missed publicizing this — an important cause for me. Maybe today (oops, that’s the title of my most recent blog post), I’ll do a belated post on this.

      1. Thanks — will add a note that it’s a week long time to reflect on the issue of depression and the impact it makes on so many people.

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