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Notice to Readers: World Mental Health Day --- October 10, 2005

World Mental Health Day, observed October 10, 2005, begins a year-long, global awareness campaign devoted to mental health promotion and mental illness prevention. In any given year, one in five persons in the United States has a mental disorder, and 450 million persons worldwide have mental or behavioral disorders. Growing research indicates that mental health and physical well-being are interdependent; one often has a substantial effect on the development of the other.

The theme for this year's Mental Health Day is "Mental and Physical Health Across the Life Span." The World Federation of Mental Health (WFMH) initiated Mental Health Day in 1992 to highlight the importance of mental illness as a worldwide concern. This year's campaign stresses that all health-care professionals need a greater understanding of how mental health problems affect persons, mentally and physically, at all stages of life.

WFMH is an international, nongovernmental organization founded in 1948 to advance, among all persons and nations, the prevention of mental and emotional disorders, advocating appropriate treatment and care for those with such disorders and the promotion of mental health. Campaign materials for World Mental Health Day can be accessed and downloaded at http://www.wmhday.net. Other mental health observations occurring during the month of October are National Depression Screening Day, October 6, and Mental Illness Awareness Week, October 2--8.



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