October is filled with a focus on mental health education and depression awareness. The entire month is filled with sharing information and awareness of screenings and prevention, as the following is observed throughout October:
- National Depression and Mental Health Screening Month
- Health Literacy Month
- ADHD Awareness Month
- Bullying Prevention Month
Observed focus weeks throughout October are:
- Mental Illness Awareness Week (First week of October)
- OCD Awareness Week (Second week of October)
- National Health Education Week (Third week of October)
Observed focus days include:
- National Depression Screening Day (October 8)
- World Mental Health Day (October 10)
Below is some information on each observance, along with links to information where you can learn more about ideas on how to participate.
National Depression and Mental Health Screening Month- This observance works to bring awareness to the need for depression awareness and the need for accessible and affordable mental health screenings. A number of different factors can often come into play with depression that can include a mix of environmental, genetic, psychological, and biological /biochemical components. Not everyone experiences depression in the same way, but it can affect anyone at any time. So, it is important to take that next step and seek out professional help and be screened if you or someone you care about feels they may be depressed. Depression is a highly treatable condition with many different options available, but a professional should be sought out to help determine the best course of action for every individual that is suffering from it.
Learn more here:
Health Literacy Month- Beginning in 1999, many organizations from many nations around the world have observed October as Health Literacy Month. The month is dedicated to bringing attention to the importance of making health-related information and education easy to understand, thereby making health care systems world-wide easier to navigate.
Learn more about observing Health Literacy Month from health.gov.
ADHD Awareness Month- There are over 17 million children and adults in the United States who suffer from ADHD. October is a month to celebrate the successes of those living with this condition, their families, educators, and caretakers. The goal of ADHD Awareness month is not only to celebrate these successes but to continue to look for further ways to improve the lives of those with ADHD.
Learn more about ADHD Awareness Month here.
Bullying Prevention Month- With the frightening increase of intolerance and bullying seen in schools across the United States, Bullying Prevention Month is observed in schools to teach children how to stand up together against it. There are several ways to get involved and get children involved. One way is to share and watch the movies shared each day throughout October from the Anti-Bullying Film Festival, and discuss these films and the messages afterward, and to encourage children to help make their environment safe and inclusive for all.
Mental Health Awareness Week (First week of October)- Started in 1990 by The United States Congress and observed the first week of every October, this week is dedicated to spreading awareness and education on mental illness. You can look to your community or online for events like seminars held by healthcare professionals, health fairs, art and music events & more. Did you know that over 25% of adults in the United States are estimated to be affected by a diagnosable mental illness every year and that 45% of these diagnoseable adults may be suffering from 2 or more mental health disorders? With numbers like these, it is imperative that we continue to spread awareness & to let each person know of the help available.
Learn more about Mental Health Awareness Week here.
OCD Awareness Week (Second week of October)- OCD Awareness Week is a worldwide awareness campaign about obsessive-compulsive disorder & related disorders that spreads the message that effective help and treatment Is available.
Learn more about world-wide OCD Awareness Week Observances here.
National Health Education Week (Third week of October)- National Health Education Week (NHEW)’s purpose is to take a week in October to address and increase awareness and understanding throughout the United States about health education. Activities, events, and webinars are held during the week to inform and educate people and promote a better understanding of health education.
Learn more about National Health Education Week here.
National Depression Screening Day (October 8)- An estimated 40 million adults in the United States suffer from anxiety or depression. The intent of National Depression Screening Day is to bring help and hope to those who suffer from depression. Mental Health America (MHA) offers an online depression screening tool here. However, depression screening is not a diagnosis of depression. The tool is intended to help people who feel they may be affected by a depressive disorder start a conversation with their doctor or trusted individuals about their mental health. Other screening tests are available from the page as well.
World Mental Health Day (October 10)- Since 1992, World Mental Health Day is a day celebrated in over 150 countries worldwide to educate, advocate against stigma, and bring awareness of mental health education and available resources for help in communities. Many online events and resources are available, including the This Is My Brave Virtual Live Stream with poetry, music, storytelling, and more from people living with mental health conditions or who have been affected by a loved one’s mental health condition. You can also share your story on the website as well.