World Mental Health Day
October 10, 2006


Mental Health affects us all. About one-fifth of Canadians of individuals will experience a mental illness during their lifetime, and the rest will be affected by mental illness in family members, friends or colleagues.

World Mental Health Day is observed each year on October 10 as a global mental health education campaign of the World Federation for Mental Health.

For nearly 15 years, World Mental Health Day has adopted a theme to focus on a specific aspect of mental health. Past themes have focused on mental health and women, children, adolescents, human rights, aging, work, the relationship between physical and mental health and mental and physical health across the lifespan.

Suicide and Mental Illness focus for 2006
The theme for World Mental Health Day 2006 is Building Awareness-Reducing Risks: Suicide and Mental Illness.

An estimated 1,000,000 people die by suicide each year ? one death every 40 seconds. Mental disorders are associated with more than 90% of all cases of suicide. The stigma associated with mental illness and suicidal behaviour can work against early intervention and prevention by keeping persons at risk of completing suicide from seeking lifesaving help.


World Mental Health Day 2006 is much more than a one-day event. There are preparations that take place for months before and after October 10. Special campaigns are held throughout the world. The 2006 Global Education Packet includes information on suicide and mental illness as well as action steps for individuals, groups and communities.