World Mental Health Day Message
On 10 October each year, the World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes World Mental Health Day. Moreover, with COVID-19 disrupting mental healthcare services in most countries around the globe, this year is especially crucial for us to join voices in advocating for our older adults. I encourage you to review these materials from the WHO website:
World Mental Health Day: the campaign
Move for mental health: let's invest
You'll find key messages to share, including:
- The health argument
- The care gap
- The economic cost
- The investment deficit
- The good news
While these items on the WHO website are not specific to older adult mental health, they are a good starting point to tailor your message for relevance in your community.
We know that prior to the pandemic; countries on average were spending less than 2% of their budgets on mental health. Now, in the midst of social distancing, shut downs and economic declines, people are struggling with the effects of isolation, fear of loss of income, bereavement for lost loved ones and a host of other issues.
Ways you can make a difference-
IPA members are experts in older adult mental health and this World Mental Health Day is your opportunity to start discussions on how mental health affects those of all ages- not just the young.
What can you do?
- Pen news articles, blogs and/or social media posts utilizing the key message areas as inspiration.
- Reach out to local media and offer to do an interview on resources in your community for older adults looking for mental health support.
- Contact policy makers to share how failure to invest in mental healthcare -and older adult mental healthcare specifically- will affect current and future generations.
2020 is truly an unprecedented year. However, it is also an opportunity for IPA members to step up, share their expertise and make a difference. I challenge you this 10 October to speak out. Our older adult community depends on us.
Manabu Ikeda, MD, PhD
IPA President Elect
Chair, IPA Advocacy Task Force