Today, WBASNY celebrates World Mental Health Day and honors the commitment and resolve of civil society, organizations, and governments to make mental health and mental wellness a priority in their respective governance.
The thematic focus of this year’s World Mental Health Day is suicide prevention. According to the World Health Organization, (WHO), “every 40 seconds, someone loses their life to suicide.” This can be avoided if communities would forge and strengthen existing synergies of resources in support of mental health and wellness; and in accordance with the World Health Organization Comprehensive Mental Health Action Plan 2013-2020, change attitudes that perpetuate stigma, discrimination and isolation.
The World Health Organization’s Comprehensive Mental Health Action Plan was adopted at the 66th World Health Assembly in Geneva in 2013 and has four major objectives: (1) strengthen effective leadership and governance for mental health, (2) provide comprehensive integrated and responsive mental health and social care services in community based settings, (3) implement strategies for promotion and prevention in mental heath and (4) strengthen information systems, evidence and research for mental health.
The Preamble to the 1995 UN Beijing Declaration Platform for Action sets forth “Women have the right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. The enjoyment of this right is vital to their life and well-being.” There are however, a plethora of psychosocial, environmental, and cultural impediments to the enjoyment of mental health and wellness by women and girls world-wide.
WBASNY is committed to educating women generally and women in the legal profession about the right to mental health and well being. According to the World Health Organization “Burn-Out is a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed” and has three dimensions, including: (1)“feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion, (2) increased mental distance from one’s job or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job and (3) reduced professional efficacy.”
WBASNY’s Wellness Committee focuses on programming and resources to provide education and increased awareness of issues related to women’s mental and physical well-being. It has and will continue to provide information to enhance overall wellness through self-care, balanced living, and to help prevent people from finding themselves in crisis. This committee also strives to identify and provide support and assistance to women who find themselves or loved ones in crisis, in addition to fighting the negative stigma that is often associated with mental health issues.