World Mental Health Day in Russia
Since 1992 across the world 10 October has been designated Mental Health Day. It aims to highlight the importance of preventing and treating mental health conditions.
The day was established by the Mental Health World Federation as a means of increasing public awareness of mental health problems and sharing ideas to help people overcome challenging situations.
Scientists believe that psychological health is closely linked to general wellbeing. The extent to which people are happy depends on their ability to manage the normal stresses and strains of life. Only people with a strong frame of mind are able to realise their full potential and achieve success.
Russian Minister of Health Veronika Skvortsova has commented that a positive mental outlook allows people to protect their psychological health and pointed out that the work environment also plays an important role. She told the News Agency Novosti that employers can protect the mental health of their employees by creating opportunities for them to enjoy a healthy diet, to do some form of physical activity after an hour of sitting at their desks, and to take advantage of vaccination programmes that protect them against infectious diseases.
The Russian Public Chamber held a round-table discussion on the topic with the title The Psychological and Spiritual Health of the Nation – the role and responsibilities of the medical profession, the media and social welfare organisations. Experts discussed strategies for strengthening the mental health of the nation, for dispelling myths surrounding psychiatric treatment and for encouraging people to focus on their mental health. They agreed that media organisations and NGOs have a responsibility to inform the public about the real dangers of psychiatric conditions.
Free and anonymous consultations with leading psychologists and psychotherapists are to be held in Moscow from 10 to 13 October. Everyone who attends will be given advice about improving their mental health, including ways of tackling stress, anxiety, depression and sleep problems.
Writing on the website of the Moscow Mayor, Georgi Kostyuk, Chief Psychiatrist of the Moscow Department of Health, noted that mental health advice is particularly important for Muscovites and other people living in huge conurbations where the fast pace of life can lead to stress, depression and interrupted sleep. Kostyuk believes people should be made aware of the free support of psychologists and psychiatrists which as part of preparations for Mental Health Day will be made available to them on any day and at any time that is convenient
Psychologists, psychotherapists and psychiatrists will be offering anonymous consultations to anyone who comes to the Exhibition Centre on Brestskaya on Saturday 13 October between 11 am and 5 pm. These sessions form part of a campaign to raise awareness about mental health called Speak out, Do Not Suffer in Silence.
People who take part in the project are also invited to attend master classes in art therapy and watch special performances. They will be able to receive a psychological diagnosis and learn about their own personality traits. They will also be able to put their psychological strength to the test by playing an interactive Quest-style game designed to teach them about their psychology.