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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B1 English level (intermediate)

Submitted by dviona on Fri, 19/11/2021 - 03:04


Other ways, in my opinion, that I may help myself and others to have better mental health is to promote mental health on my social media accounts. This is due to the fact that people currently spend more time on social media. So, for example, using my Instagram stories, I can share any posters on mental health and do so on a regular basis till people become aware of the issue.

Submitted by Barbara_Sz on Wed, 31/03/2021 - 08:16

Spending less time online, - especially with scrolling on social - has a huge factor to reduce anxiety and depression. Also avoiding negativity or toxic people could help a lot.

Submitted by Verna Budi Amanda on Wed, 24/02/2021 - 10:27

in order to have a better mental health i would limit myself for using social media. lately, i realized that social media made myself become less grateful and grow a toxic mindset. its not like im being an anti-social but i just limit myself. And after doing that i think i can be more focus to my self even happier than before, the other ways are always stay positive in any circumstances and stop being friends with toxic people.
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Submitted by Rafaela1 on Wed, 17/02/2021 - 12:40

Sleep well and LOL !! ;)

Submitted by PARIMALA MADIAZHAKAN on Wed, 17/02/2021 - 05:03

Other ways can you support myself and other people to have better mental health is stay positive and stay away from toxic people and relationship. It is very important to stay positive outlook for encourage ourselves from get away from anxiety and depression. We must finding balancing in positive and negative emotional. However, avoid negative emotions can help to reduce mental illness. We want always show positives and get away from the negative views. Furthermore, we should nee stay away from toxic person and relationship. Sometimes the toxic person and relationship can make us feel anxiety and depressed. Bad vibes from toxic person can lead to mental illness.

Submitted by Thinthinmyoe on Wed, 20/01/2021 - 12:23

I support myself by doing the following facts. 1.reading books 2.doing work out 3.praying and meditation 4.carrying out good deeds and thinking positive thoughts.

Submitted by Nurain Natasya on Mon, 07/12/2020 - 05:11

I support myself and other people to have better mental health is with see a psychiatrist than admit I have been ill,also doing the exercise,follow the advise by the doctor and spent more time with my family.

Submitted by cittàutopica on Tue, 01/12/2020 - 17:31

First of all I think we can support people with some kind of mental illness by making their aware of this problem and willing to talk about it.

Submitted by Hn0062 on Sun, 18/10/2020 - 21:01

It seems to me we should do something that made us calm so I have some advice: 1. Focuse on one thing 2. Do not think of failure 3. Take each day as it comes 4. Enjoy your time 5.Don't shut away with anything 6. Do valunteer worknation 7. Don't focuse more on the journey and less on the destination 8, Be generous 9. listen to music 10. Read books

Submitted by Jorge Fabricio on Thu, 15/10/2020 - 03:30

Very Interesting. Definitly very goods ideas¡

Submitted by ImaneB on Wed, 14/10/2020 - 09:58

There are many good ideas in the article..depression and anxiety can affect anyone, in his life, depending on events and experience he goes through. To avoid or reduce this mental issues, we can also : Get away from toxic or negative people, Take the right personel decisions, Ignore what others think, social prejudices...

Submitted by Soe Pyae on Wed, 07/10/2020 - 16:59

Yes, good idea for workplace. We need to try this. For me , I usually don't give time for walk during office hours. Yes, it is a common reason ...that is bcos of quite busy . So , I have my meals first and get back to work almost everyday . sitting in front of my computer's screen all day long isn't good thing for both mental and physical health. I / We need to change .Work is important but no more than our lives . We should give time for ourselves . Enjoy the life in this world ! My writing is not like a comment , right ? ha ha ...just ignore it ....
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Submitted by Rafaela1 on Tue, 06/10/2020 - 13:03

A good sleep will save you!

Submitted by Min Htet Kaung on Tue, 15/09/2020 - 16:19

Everytime, everyone all over the world has to subject to at least one of eight kinds of impact due to circumstances. Those kinds of impact are (1) wealth, (2) poverty, (3)having lots of friends, (4)lack of friends, (5)being praised,(6) being blamed, (7) satisfaction and (8) suffering. After knowing them, we have to prepare to withstand them with tranquil mind. One way is to reduce attachment to materials and people, i.e, our property, family members and close friends. Nothing and nobody is permanent and cannot be controlled, for example, even our own bodies. We cannot stop them not to be old and die. Other way is to do meditation. In those ways, we can reduce stress and depression to some extent.
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Submitted by OlaIELTS on Sat, 06/06/2020 - 00:52

This could involves chatting on social media, hearing music, browsing new ideas, a short visits, attending events and so on.
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Submitted by NataliyaRus on Wed, 01/04/2020 - 14:49

It seems to me that it's very difficult to persuade a person that he/she has some mentality problem. It's easier for them to reject all the offers of their relatives to see a psychiatrist than admit they have been ill. In my country it is all about the stigma.
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Submitted by Rafaela1 on Thu, 23/01/2020 - 12:52

I was once told by an elderly person, "I'm 100% sure that you are far from a person with a mental problem." Oh my goodness, I can't sleep, because I'm worried about what it means!

Submitted by Kariri on Wed, 22/01/2020 - 10:37

That what makes us strong, when we help each other, taking care of ourself also when people start to enjoy what they have before they ask for more, WHD is a good opportunity to reduce the stigma in the society which will lead more people aware of their Mental Health.

Submitted by lifelearner on Sat, 04/01/2020 - 08:13

• that an interesting question because I just have created a plan today for improving my focus, boosting my energy and wakefulness. there are a lot of things one can do. i do believe that being in a good condition psychologically is an essential topic that is often stigmatized in thirld world country where most people are not aware to global health issues. Firstly, meditate daily for ten minutes. Meditation help focus the mind and control negative thoughts as a result you learn a technique that will help you in stress management. Secondly, make sure to sleep well, at least eight hours a day. sleep deprivation is linked to mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety. Thirdly, eat balanced diet that is rich in omega3, B vitamins, and serotonin like banana,sardines,chocolate.and make sure you hydrate well. Finally, there are dozens of tips for maintain a mental wellness such as volunteering, having a work-life balance.make sure to get a psychiatric treatment if you in need.

Submitted by novinzaban on Thu, 24/10/2019 - 14:07

World Mental Health Day is observed on 10 October every year, with the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilizing efforts in support of mental health. The Day provides an opportunity for all stakeholders working on mental health issues to talk about their work, and what more needs to be done to make mental health care a reality for people worldwide.

Submitted by Roulaotaki on Wed, 16/10/2019 - 08:35

Thinking and psychology I think we should accept that no one is complete and we have both side good and bad we should accep them and know that no one is good at all and we should understand our feeling and accept them to be comfortable and stop blaming our selves we should love ourselves
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Submitted by Anaitat on Mon, 14/10/2019 - 19:59

To my mind people more and more often talk about mental health problems they have because they make one of the biggest health challenges in the nowadays world. World Mental Health Day encourages us to be more aware of our own mental health. With the age people begin to lose brain cells every day and their memory is getting worse, in a natural process, and nobody is able to resolve that problem. The importance and topicality of the problem consists in the fact that everyone can use their own tips. Everyone makes his own choice and takes over the responsibility for his own mental health.

Submitted by Pacodelucia on Tue, 08/10/2019 - 09:41

Hi. I think it's so important which country do you live.. For example some countries int the world are under sanction and people who lived there is in a bad situation and it cause to get any deases and mental and physical illness.. I'm living in iran and the my country has many general environment but people are not in a good conditiond and everybody seffers of mental illness. I hope one day everything become good.
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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 popo1011 on Mon, 07/10/2019 - 09:40

I think that the topic of this course is necessary and important to discuss. many people in the world suffer from mental illness and it is vital that talk about every day nor a special day or week.

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.
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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
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Submitted by Kirk 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