World Mental Health Day – 10 resources to help you, friends and colleagues

World Mental Health Day this year is focusing on suicide prevention.

You can be forgiven for wondering if this is an out-of-date post, or for simply being confused: Word Suicide Prevention Day (organized by the International Association for Suicide Prevention – IASP) took place on 10 September; the theme is continuing on this year’s World Mental Health Day (organized by the World Federation for Mental Health, or WFMH*). Given that someone dies by suicide every 40 seconds, and deaths by suicide in the UK rose by almost 12% last year, there’s much to be done.

Here are 10 resources that may help you better understand mental health, support a family member, friend or colleague.

  1. First and most important, if you are worried about your mental health and emotional state, please contact Samaritans on 116 123 free of charge.
  2. Q: What are mental health problems? A: Problems that affect around 1 in 4 of us. See this video from Mind, the mental health charity.
  3. Mind also has over 20 guides with tips for specific things that can impact our mental health, such as loneliness, stress and sleep problems.
  4. The World Health Organization has a flyer for “40 seconds of action” that you may want to download and share.
  5. The Mental Health Foundation has great resources, from podcasts and videos to an A-Z of all things mental health and ways to get help.
  6. Time to Change, who campaign to ‘change the way we all think and act about mental health problems’, came up with the ‘ask twice’ idea – because we can say we’re fine when we’re not. They want us to notice if a friend or colleague is acting differently and ask if they’re OK – twice. Here’s their video.
  7. ICYMI, here’s the short film from Public Health England and the NHS featuring some well-known faces.
  8. The posts on Headspace’s blog are well worth a read / share; try this one on worrying – and how to stop it. 
  9. For a lighter take on what we can do to think more positively, watch ‘Of Course You’ve Messed Up’ from The School of Life (the humour is dark in places and the language colourful in parts, FYI).
  10. We can struggle to articulate our emotions; despite the vast vocabulary of the English language, many of us are inhibited by our cultural baggage (native speakers can be the worst). A simple way to be more emotionally intelligent is to check in with our thoughts and feelings, making sure we name our emotions.

*World Mental Health Day is organized by the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) and this year’s Day is supported by the World Health Organization (WHO),


Dawn is the author of ‘The Feedback Book’ and ‘How to be Zoomly at work’

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