The 10th of October is observed as World Health Day globally. It was commemorated for the first time on October 10th 1992 as an annual activity of the World Federation for Mental Health by the then Deputy Secretary General Richard Hunter. Ever since then the Federation has selected a theme each year in an effort to launch educational programmers based on the theme globally.
The theme highlighted this year by the Federation focuses on " Building Awareness - Reducing Risk: Mental Illness & Suicide". Most cases of attempts to suicide can be retraced to certain emotional or mental ill health.
According to the National Mental Health Association, an NGO, based in the US most often suicide attempts reflect some grave disorder in a persons life., cutting through barriers like age, race, gender, or social status. In majority of cases the victims who are blinded by an urge to end their life suffer from depression as statistics prove. The NMHA reports that in 30%-70% of cases of suicide victims, suffer from major depression or bipolar manic-depressive disorder.
The World Health Organization points out that 450 million people around the world are affected by mental or behavioral problems at any time. Failing to recognize this mammoth problem often then snowballs into a situation that cannot be controlled often driving those suffering into a gamut of snares most glaring of which seems to be suicide these days. One million people are estimated to die annually the world over according to the W.H.O.. Data developed by the colossal Global Burden of Disease study conducted by the World Health Organization, the World Bank, and Harvard University, disclose that mental illness, including suicide, accounts for over 15 percent of the burden of disease in established economies, such as the United States which reflects that the disease burden there is more than that caused by all kinds of cancers put together.
The World Federation for Mental Health hopes to eradicate the stigma and ignorance that blankets mental illnesses and suicides by their campaign. Its efforts are to encourage the public to come forward to seek assistance and to throw light about misconceptions regarding mental illnesses. Efforts are on to show that most suicides attempted can be thwarted with timely interventions.
Various ongoing research are trying to unravel the possible genetic make-up of those susceptible to suicidal tendencies and the ways in which such may be affected by the environment they are in. The International Association for Suicide Prevention co-sponsored by the WHO has initiated studies that explains suicidal behavior.