Show your solidarity with those battling depression this World Health Day.
World Health Day is a global awareness day initiated by the World Health Organization (WHO) to highlight current major public health challenges. WHO works with governments and other partners to ensure the highest possible level of health for all people, striving to combat disease and ensure the safety of the air we breathe, the food we eat, the water we drink and the medicines we need.
World Health Day is just one of eight global health events that WHO supports, along with World TB Day, World Immunization Week, World Malaria Day, World No Tobacco Day, World Blood Donor Day, World Hepatitis Day and World AIDS Day.
What is World Health Day?
Global public health days provide the opportunity to raise awareness about important health issues and to mobilise support for action. Each year World Health Day focuses on a specific health topic of concern, providing facts and figures, background information, and multimedia materials to bring attention to the issue and to encourage action and support from governments and local communities.
What’s happening in 2017?
World Health Day is celebrated each year on 7 April to mark the anniversary of the founding of the World Health Organization. The theme for 2017 is “Depression: Let’s talk”, part of a one-year campaign that began with World Mental Health Day on 10 October 2016.
Depression is an illness characterised by persistent sadness that affects people of all ages and from all walks of life. It can impact people’s ability to carry out the simplest everyday tasks, can have devastating consequences for relationships and their ability to earn a living, and can lead to self-harm and suicide, particularly among young people.
The aim of the day is to create a better understanding of depression, how it can be prevented and treated, to help reduce the stigma associated with it and to encourage more people to seek help and treatment.
How can you get involved?
There are several ways you can contribute to World Health Day 2017 and you’ll find all the details on the World Health Organization website. You could:
- Use and adapt WHO’s campaign materials. Posters and handouts are a good way to get the message out there and WHO provides a range of downloadable and printable materials for this purpose.
- Organise an activity or event. This is a great way to both raise awareness about depression and stimulate action, and could include a discussion forum, sporting event, workshop, competition, coffee morning, dinner party or concert.
- Share information and materials on social media. WHO has several social media channels that you can share with your own networks including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram, as well as several hashtags including #LetsTalk, #depression and #mentalhealth.