8 October 2018



The World Mental Health Day is celebrated annually on October 10. It is held with support of World Health Organization (WHO) with the aim of informing the public about mental health issues. It was first held in 1992 on the initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health.

In 2013, the World Health Assembly adopted Comprehensive mental health action plan for the period of 2013—2020. The plan reflects the commitment of all WHO Member States to take concrete measures to promote mental health and help to achieve global goals.

The primary purpose of the World Mental Health Day is to reduce the prevalence of mental disorders.

According to the definition of WHO mental health is not only the absence of mental disorders, but the state of well-being in which every individual realizes his abilities, can withstand normal stresses of life and contribute to his community. In this positive sense, mental health is the foundation of human well-being and effective functioning of a community.

Mental health is crucial to our collective and individual ability as rational beings to think, to express emotions, to communicate with each other, to earn a livelihood and to enjoy life. Given this fact, strengthening, protection and restoration of mental health can be taken by individuals, communities and commonwealth worldwide as actions that are of vital importance.

According to WHO, every fourth or fifth inhabitant of the Earth suffers from one or another mental disorder, and each second has a chance to get sick of it during life. Most of them (52%) are persons with borderline mental disorders.

Specific ways to promote mental health include the following:

early childhood measures (e.g., formation of stable condition corresponding to the needs of children in terms of health and nutrition, which provides protection against the hazards and opportunities for early learning and communication with others on the principles of responsiveness, emotional support and stimulus to development);

children support (e.g., skills acquisition programs, programs for the development of children and young people);

providing socio-economic opportunities for women (e.g., improved access to education and micro-credit schemes);

social support of older people (e.g., the initiative for the organization of acquaintances, local day centers for elderly);

programs aimed at vulnerable people, including minorities, indigenous peoples, migrants and people affected by conflicts and natural disasters (e.g., psycho-social interventions after natural disasters);

interventions to promote mental health in schools (e.g., programs which support ecological changes in schools);

interventions to promote mental health in workplaces (e.g., programs for the prevention of stress);

strategies in the field of housing conditions (e.g., improvement of living conditions);

violence prevention programs (e.g., access restriction to alcohol and weapon);

programs of development of individual communities (e.g., the initiatives "Communities that Care", integrated rural development);

poverty reduction and social protection of poor;

anti-discrimination laws and campaigns;

strengthening of rights and opportunities of persons with mental disorders and caring for them.

In addition, there are a number of effective measures for the prevention of suicides, prevention and treatment of mental disorders in children, as well as the treatment of disorders caused by substance use.

The 2018 World Mental Health Day is held under the slogan "Youth and Mental Health in Changing World".

Healthy harmonious mental and physical development in childhood and adolescence is important to prevent problems in this area subsequently.

Adolescence and early adulthood years is time of life, when there are a lot of significant for a young man changes, for example, education, end of school, choice of occupation, military service, need to earn a living, build personal relationships, create a family. For young people, it is time of changes, which can be accompanied by stress.

Expanding use of various gadgets, online technologies, undoubtedly brings a lot of benefits, but also can bring additional pressure because communication with virtual networks at any time of day and night increases and can cause dependence on them. Many adolescents live in regions affected by the emergency social situations, such as armed conflicts, natural disasters and epidemics, in regions where it is difficult to get education and find a job, grow up in low-income families, what can provoke the development of mental disorders.

Thus, according to estimates of WHO, about 20% of children and adolescents in the world have mental disorders or problems, about half of which begins before the age of 14 years. Neuropsychiatric disorders are among the leading causes of disability among young people in the world. With regard to the severity of disease among adolescents, depression is the third leading cause. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15—29 year olds. Harmful use of alcohol and illicit drugs use among adolescents is a serious problem in many countries and can lead to risky behavior such as unsafe sex or dangerous driving. Eating disorders also cause concern.

In Belarus, morbidity of underage people of mental and behavioral disorders (except diseases associated with the consumption of psychoactive drugs) tends to decline: in 2013 — 79 132 cases (4517.8 per 100 thousand of population); 2017 — 72,853 cases (3920.3 per 100 thousand of population); the number of children aged 0—17 years with these disorders, which first applied for the provision of mental health care, also declines: from 17 248 cases (984.7 per 100 thousand of population) to 15892 cases (855.2 per 100 thousand of population) respectively. Psychological development disorders, emotional and behavioral disorders play a leading role among mental disorders in childhood and adolescence.

However, over the last three years there is increase of applications for the provision of specialized psychiatric care due to neurotic, stress-related and somatoform disorders (from 240.3 per 100 thousand of population in 2015 to 247.3 in 2017 ). Number of underage patients with disorders connected with the use of psychoactive drugs which are observed , in 2013 decreased by 6.2% from 15,780 cases (901.2 per 100 thousand of population) up to 14815 cases (797.2 per 100 thousand of population). This is due to the fact that new methods of treatment, prevention and rehabilitation of narcological diseases among children and adolescents are constantly being introduced in regions.

In accordance with Decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus of November 24, 2006 № 18 "On additional measures of state protection of children in disadvantaged families" systematic work on the protection of children of disadvantaged families is carried out in the republic. Patronage of families in socially dangerous situation is carried out with the development of the individual measures to improve the situation.

Also it is worth noting the efficiency of measures of the State Program "Health of the people and the demographic security of the Republic of Belarus" for 2016 — 2020 years, approved by a prescript of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus March 14, 2016 № 200.

Bringing up a child you must understand that physical and mental health of children are inextricably linked. Quite often, in spite of the hereditary prerequisites, and many other negative factors, mental health is essential for physical health.

Child and adolescent mental health depends on many factors: education, environment, child employment. Consciously controlling these elements of adolescent life, you can effectively promote the normal psychological development of children. Mental health of children depends on various factors, so parents should closely monitor the emotional background of the child and not expose him to excessive loads. Stress resistance depends on the type of the human nervous system, and the individual properties of temperament may be, if not the sources of mental disorders, then one of the major risk factors.

Diseases and disorders related to border group of mental disorders require mandatory psychotherapeutic treatment, often long, as individual classes and family therapy. Without the involvement of the nearest environment of a child (parents and other family members) in the psychotherapeutic process forecast of the success of treatment is low.

The psyche of children and adolescents is unstable and is in its infancy, so it is very important to try to protect them from negative influences.