This year, World Mental Health Day falls on October 10th. Each year the awareness day focuses on a different aspect of mental health, and this year, the theme will be living with schizophrenia.
According to the NHS, schizophrenia can cause a variety of psychological symptoms, including hallucinations, which can cause delusions or confusing thoughts, as well as behavioural changes. It is defined as a serious mental health condition, with around one in every 100 people experiencing it at some point.
The charity, the Mental Health Foundation, discusses how hearing voices can be a common symptom of schizophrenia, and explains how it may feel to hear voices, as well as how the treatment of these symptoms has been affected by stigma surrounding such conditions.
As explained by the NHS, there are often misconceptions surrounding what schizophrenia is. For example, it explains how having a split personality is believed to be a common symptom of the condition, in which people may suddenly switch between what is normal, to completely irrational behaviour. This is false, demonstrating how awareness days such as this are needed to combat false beliefs and incorrect impressions of said conditions.
The Mental Health Foundation sees this health awareness day as a way to encourage people to be aware of mental health conditions, helping to eliminate the stigma that surrounds it and encouraging people to talk about it. The charity’s previous awareness days have included other aspects such as depression, mindfulness, mental health in older adults and on global issues that can cause anxiety. You can read more about the charity and its work through its website here.
The World Health Organisation describes the event as a chance for those involved in mental health services to discuss their work, as well as look into ways to improve access to health services for those who need it. As part of the event, the Mental Health Foundation encourages people to host a Tea & Talk event to celebrate the cause.