Public event will put focus on young people and mental health

Ally Finnis

Country Representative, has called on the Government to develop and strengthen evidence-based programmes to address the mental health needs of young people.

"It is time to act on mental health", he said in a message marking World Mental Health Day that falls on October 10.

TV presenter Anna Richardson and former Labour spin doctor and author Alastair Campbell feature in the campaign among others who have faced mental health difficulties. Planned activities include more than 80 complimentary consultations for the public in the DHCC free zone and a collaboration with academic institution Amity University Dubai.

Not surprisingly, most workers (77 percent) believe that people should take proactive steps to manage their mental health, and more than half (57 percent) believe that apps and online technologies are going to become the first option many people use to do so.

The World Health Organisation said this critical age group is "very much at the risk of being left behind" in development agendas of countries. Additionally, it has been recognised that lifestyle and general wellbeing plays a huge part in influencing mental health. We must help connect those with mental health conditions to the most appropriate therapies - from less intensive outpatient centers, counseling and drug therapies, to more intensive treatments such as inpatient and residential care when necessary. Just as it is okay to fall sick, we may suffer from mental health issues. Last year, more than 16,000 patients visited these clinics. While the rate for men was the lowest since 1981, suicide remains the main cause of death for males under 45.

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"Across the globe, some societies still discriminate against people with mental health problems". Living with a mental health problem can make it hard to relax and switch off. Lack of sleep is another common side-effect. In reality, due to fear of judgement, it will take the majority of people over a year to talk to a friend, family member or colleague about a mental health problem and, often, they still face negative responses.

Data from the 2014 Mission Australia's Youth Survey showed that around 21.2% of young people (15-19 years old) met the criteria for a probably serious mental illness. This day, each October, thousands of supporters come to celebrate this annual awareness program to bring attention to mental illness and its major effects on peoples' life worldwide.

"Finding out how many people get the illnesses was surprising, knowing how common it actually is".

In fact, there has been a rise in the time children have to wait before they are given treatment.

"Once the condition has been identified, continue to offer support and take an active role, for example by ensuring that they take prescribed medication or attend scheduled counselling sessions". It was initially started by the World Federation for Mental Health. "If we can construct a system that can respond to young people at risk, when and where they need support - be that in the community, in primary or emergency care, or within tertiary services - we will undoubtedly be better placed to reverse the devastating trend we have seen over this past 10 years".

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