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“Dignity in Mental Health” is the theme for the 2015 celebration of World Mental Health Day on October 10.

World Mental Health Day is celebrated in over 100 countries and this year’s theme aims to highlight the ways in which dignity can be provided in all areas of mental health care.

Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights affirms that:

“All human beings are born equal in dignity and in rights.”

The Preamble of the UN Convention on the Rights of persons with Disabilities states that:

“…discrimination against any person on the basis of disability is a violation of the inherent dignity and worth of the human person.”

However, sadly, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO)*, thousands of people with mental health conditions around the world are deprived of their human rights. They are not only discriminated against, stigmatised and marginalised but are also subject to emotional and physical abuse in both mental health facilities and the community. Poor quality care due to a lack of qualified health professionals and dilapidated facilities leads to further violations.

Mental illness, including, depression, anxiety, fear, panic attacks, eating disorders and suicide, is now a very serious global concern.

Amongst those seriously affected are children, young adults and students. GCGI has been writing extensively about these concerns, highlighting the plight of the youth, as they navigate a complex and ever changing world, facing challenges and pressures in numerous aspects of their lives.

GCGI is committed to improving the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children, young people and students, empowering them to lead good, fullfiling and happy lives. Young people are at the heart of everything we do.

Earlier this year we launched the GCGI appeal to address global youth depression:

A Plea to address Global Youth Depression

And last week we sent an open letter to university leaders to address students’ mental health and well-being:

An Open Letter to University Leaders: Students’ Mental and Emotional Wellbeing Must Be Our Priority

Alongside all other observers, the GCGI believes that with good mental health, children, young people and students do better in every way. They enjoy their childhoods, their teenage years, are able to deal with stress and difficult times, are able to learn better, do better at school, college and university, whilst enjoying the wonders of life, friendship, hope and new experiences.

We invite you all to join us and all other individuals and groups, holding hands, realising our shared dream: Building a better, happier, healthier, contended world for all, by taking actions in the interest of the common good.

*WHO | World Mental Health Day 2015

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