The determination of campaigners has resulted in a number of national successes. The government of Sierra Leone committed to amend their Lunacy Act; Tonga developed its first-ever National Mental Health Policy and tripled their mental health budget; and New Zealand announced a wellbeing budget of $1.9 billion.
Still, the stats on mental health around the world are grim, and there is so much more to be done. Every 40 seconds, someone dies by suicide. Speak Your Mind has been encouraging members of the public to sign the 40 second voice petition
to urge our leaders to provide quality services so that everyone, everywhere has someone to turn to when their mental health needs support.
Anyone can take part in any way that makes sense for them. Here are a few ideas from the World Health Organization
on how you can take action in your own life to change the way we treat mental health around the world.
- If you are struggling, take 40 seconds to kickstart a conversation with someone you trust about how you are feeling.
- If you work in media, highlight the 40-second statistic in interviews, articles and blog posts.
- If you work in the arts or on digital platforms, interrupt your production or broadcast to transmit a 40-second message about mental health or preventing suicide.
- If you are an employer or manager, take 40 seconds to formulate a positive message of support to your employees about resources available to them in the workplace or local community in times of mental distress.
- If you want your leaders to hear your request for action, record a 40-second audio clip or video telling them the action you want them to take on suicide prevention and mental health.
- If you have a platform for communicating with a large audience (social media, television, radio), provide 40-second slots for sharing mental health stories and messages.
- If you hold political office, communicate publicly about action you are taking to promote mental health and prevent suicide, highlighting the 40-second statistic.