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World Mental Health Day 2021: Mental Health in an Unequal World.

The theme for this year’s World Mental Health Day is Mental Health in an Unequal World, as announced by the World Federation for Mental Health, after a global vote of its members.

The world is increasingly polarised, with the very wealthy becoming wealthier, and the number of people living in poverty still far too high.

2020’s pandemic highlighted this polarisation, with the clear discrimination that people around the world face due to race and ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity and more becoming ever more stark.

If there’s one thing that the last year has taught us, it’s how interwoven these issues are with mental health. We can’t fight for a world where mental health is part of the everyday conversation, while too many people still worry over discrimination, judgement, basic human rights, poverty and more. 

And at the same time, those who face this discrimination also statistically have a harder time accessing much-needed mental health care and support, as well as facing reduced educational opportunities and current/future earning prospects, further perpetuating issues of inequality.  

Inequality breeds inequality. 

Disparity only serves to create more disparity. 

The UK government has referred to the COVID-19 pandemic as the “great leveller”. It’s affected every single person around the globe in some way, true.

But the notion that everyone suffers the same is a myth.

As one quote puts it: “we may be in the same storm, but we’re in different boats.”

We all have mental health. We can all be impacted by ill mental health. 

But the risks of suffering from ill mental health are not equally and fairly distributed among the population. 

It’s for that reason that we’ve chosen to respond to this year’s theme by focusing on the issues & drivers which continue to perpetuate inequality and mental health issues within the UK, as well as celebrating the charities and organisations that are working to combat these. These four drivers, as identified by a report from The Mental Health Foundation, are:

  1. Economic Influences 
  2. Relational Influences
  3. Health, Disability and Ageing
  4. Ecological Influences

Download our pack here to find out more about these issues and the organisations making a difference.