World Mental Health Day

World Mental Health Day

World Mental Health Day, on 10 October, is a day to raise awareness of the effects mental illness has on millions of people’s lives across the world, and to help educate and inform us all.

Do the preparation task first. Then read the article and do the exercises.


Around the world, one in four people will have some kind of mental illness during their lifetime. Around 450 million people are living with a mental health problem right now, making it one of the biggest health issues in the world. Yet people rarely talk about any mental health problems they have because there is still a lot of stigma.

World Mental Health Day

World Mental Health (WMH) Day was first celebrated in 1992. It was created to raise awareness of just how common mental health issues are, fight against stigma and campaign for better conditions and treatment for people who have a mental health problem. The number of people and organisations involved in celebrating WMH Day has grown and grown, and now many countries, such as Australia, actually have a Mental Health Week, which includes WMH Day on 10 October. Each year there is a different theme. For example, in 2017 the theme was mental health in the workplace.

Mental health in the workplace

Employers should create an environment which supports good mental health. This also helps to reduce the number of days employees take off work. Employers should help employees to achieve a good work–life balance by encouraging them to take breaks and holidays and discouraging them from working at home in the evenings and at weekends. Employees should also feel that they can talk to their managers about any problems they might have, and employers should be supportive.

Get some exercise

Of course, we also need to look after our own mental health. Most people know that exercise is good for your body, but did you also know how good it is for your mental health? Regular exercise can really help you deal with anxiety and depression. Spending time in nature can also make people more relaxed and reduce stress. So why not get your exercise by going for a walk in a park or the countryside?

Eat well

Your diet can also change your mood. If you eat crisps, cake, chocolate, etc., your blood sugar will rise and fall, making you feel cross and tired. Make sure you are eating enough vegetables and fruit or you may be missing some nutrients you need to feel good. It’s also important to drink enough water – being thirsty can make it difficult to think clearly.

Spend time with family and friends

Everyone needs some time alone, but it’s also good for us to spend time with other people. If you feel lonely, try volunteering. It’s a good way of meeting new people, and you will feel good for helping others. One survey showed that 48 per cent of people who volunteered for more than two years said they felt less depressed as a result. If you do have close friends and family, try talking to them more about how you feel and asking them to support you. Every time someone speaks to someone else about mental illness, it helps to reduce the stigma.

What to do on World Mental Health Day

World Mental Health Day encourages us to be more aware of both our own mental health and other people’s. As well as looking after yourself, think about how you could support other people. For example, you could find out more about common issues such as anxiety and depression, so you will understand friends’ and colleagues’ problems better. You could also encourage your workplace to start a wellness programme that would benefit everyone – they might offer free exercise classes or encourage employees to take walks at lunchtime. Companies with wellness programmes have found employees take 28 per cent less time off for sickness.

Anything you do on WMH Day, even just talking to people about it, will help us all to understand and support people better.


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Profile picture for user Rafaela1

Submitted by Rafaela1 on Wed, 09/10/2019 - 06:52

In reply to by Pacodelucia

Hi Pacodelucia I'm sorry to hear your bad situation. But, strangely eough, an Irania engineer I met the other day said, "It's not so bad or dangerous as everyone thinks in my country. Actually, we're suffered by such a negative propaganda of the leading countries of the West, which causes more conflicts and unhealthy conditions". Well, well...

Submitted by parisaach on Sat, 05/10/2019 - 09:23

In my opinion most of mental health problems are somehow related to life style, economic situation, and general environment of the place we live. In poor countries when people haven't enough money we can't expect people be physically and mentally healthy. In bad economic situation people are jobless or have pressure on workplace, and when employer don't care about emplyee's employees will be suffer from mental health problem. I don't know if all the people are aware that they have mental health problem or not? I don't know the exaxt definition of health problem, so I think people should be taught to know what is mental health problem and discover if they have mental health problem, how much it could be dangerous and how they should deal with it. After teaching people about mental problems we could teach people it is not embarrassing to talk about their mental health problem and we should know that it is not funny and it is common to have these kind of problems.

Submitted by Lisa on Tue, 13/08/2019 - 16:19

Its very helpful subject for all of us. we need help each other to improve our mentality.
Profile picture for user Moulham Malass

Submitted by Moulham Malass on Wed, 27/02/2019 - 10:41

Mr. Peter; Could you explain me why the writer used "which includes WMH Day on 10 October" Not "on October 10th" nor "on the 10th of October"? Thank you for your help
Profile picture for user Kirk Moore

Submitted by Kirk Moore on Thu, 28/02/2019 - 07:51

In reply to by Moulham Malass


Hello Moulham Malass

At the British Council, our editors made the decision to write dates in the format that you see on this page. But when we read them, we usually read them in one of the ways you describe.

All the best


The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Nunu28 on Tue, 22/01/2019 - 14:52

For support better mental health we could learn new languange. Instead of doing exercise in the outside park, we can start memorize new word. Make sentence with that. We could also try to speak new wolrd with other and encourage them to learn new language. Learning will burn our mind and make it grows faster beyond our anxiety and depression potential.

Submitted by AmineGE on Thu, 03/01/2019 - 16:55

Hi every one, i really appreciate the advises mentioned above, i would like just to add a couple of things that i see very interesting to keep our mental health safe, First of all i would say the choice of work is very important because we spend more than 8 hours per day so if we don't like what we are doing it would be very difficult to enjoy your days at work, we have all something that passionate us so we need to find that and try to keep it in our life... second point i want to highlight is Sport without this the body can not find its equilibrium so doing sport regularly would improve our mental health. Thanks