Beyond Mental Health Day?

Mental Health Day – a day dedicated to raising awareness, breaking stigma, and fostering conversations about mental health. Every year, on this special day, social media lights up with inspirational quotes, uplifting stories, and countless messages of support. It’s a beautiful sight to behold, an acknowledgment that mental health matters, but it begs the question: Is this enough? Should we limit our commitment to mental health to just one day a year, or is it merely a token gesture?

Before we dive into the year-round commitment, let’s not underestimate the importance of Mental Health Day. It serves as a catalyst for much-needed conversations. It sparks debates, encourages people to open up, and educates society about the struggles individuals face with their mental health. This day is a stepping stone towards breaking down the walls of stigma, which is no small feat.

However, as the sun sets on October 10th each year, we must ask ourselves: What happens next? Does the momentum fade away, only to be reignited next year? Are we doing enough to support mental health beyond this designated day?

The Year-Round Commitment:

Mental health isn’t a once-a-year occurrence, nor should our commitment to it be. Here are a few reasons why we should be actively engaged in mental health advocacy throughout the year:

  1. Mental Health Doesn’t Take a Break: Mental health struggles don’t adhere to a calendar. They persist year-round. People grapple with anxiety, depression, and other conditions every day. Our support, understanding, and resources should be available when they’re needed, not just on Mental Health Day.
  2. Prevention is Key: Waiting for a crisis to address mental health issues isn’t ideal. A year-round commitment allows us to focus on prevention. By offering resources, education, and support consistently, we can reduce the incidence of mental health crises.
  3. Breaking Stigma Takes Time: Stigma surrounding mental health is deeply rooted and pervasive. It won’t disappear with one day of awareness. It requires ongoing effort to challenge stereotypes, dispel myths, and create a society where mental health is treated with the same importance as physical health.
  4. Supporting Others: When we engage in mental health advocacy year-round, we’re more likely to recognize when someone around us is struggling. We can offer a helping hand, lend an empathetic ear, and connect them with the resources they need.
  5. Personal Growth: Our own mental health can benefit from a year-round commitment. Taking regular steps to care for our well-being, seeking help when needed, and engaging in open conversations can lead to personal growth and resilience.

Mental Health Day serves a vital purpose in our collective journey towards a mentally healthier society. It’s a beacon of hope, a reminder that change is possible. However, we must remember that it’s just the beginning, not the end. To truly make a difference in the lives of those struggling with their mental health, we must commit ourselves year-round. We must be willing to educate, advocate, and support not just on one designated day but every day. By doing so, we can create a world where mental health is celebrated, valued, and safeguarded throughout the entire year.

Student mental health is a critical aspect of this year-round commitment. Educational institutions are often hotspots for stress, anxiety, and academic pressures, making it imperative that we extend our support beyond Mental Health Day. Students face a unique set of challenges, from the demands of coursework to the stress of social interactions. By actively engaging in mental health advocacy throughout the year, we can ensure that students have access to resources, counseling services, and a supportive environment that promotes their well-being. It’s crucial that we foster a culture where seeking help for mental health concerns is encouraged and normalized, empowering students to prioritize their mental well-being throughout their educational journey.


Stella Kyratzi 

PhD Student

University of Edinburgh

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