Several informative and engaging activities are being held Oct. 6-11 to bring greater awareness to mental health issues like anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts the Director of the Counseling Department in the Ministry of Social Services, Michelle de la Coudray-Blake said Wednesday while appearing on the radio and television show “Working for You.”

The activities are being held to commemorate World Mental Health Day 2019 celebrated Thursday under the theme “Working Together to Prevent Suicide.”

Mrs. Blake used the occasion to encourage citizens and residents to wear something green — the international colour for mental health awareness —Thursday in a show of support for World Mental Health Day and mental health awareness and highlighted a fair in Nevis focusing on mental health issues Friday.

Activities kicked off with a service at the Antioch Baptist Church on Sunday, followed by a workshop for nurses on suicide prevention on Monday.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 800,000 people around the world die by suicide every year, making it the principal cause of death among people 15 to 29 years old.

Discussions Surrounding Mental Health are Increasing in the Federation

The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis is continuing to develop its citizens’ awareness of health issues by increasing the conversation around mental health.

“We’ve come to a place where I think now that we recognize that it should be as normal to talk about mental health just like how we talk about diabetes,” said Director de la Coudray-Blake.

She said traditionally, persons with mental health issues have been viewed as morally or spiritually weak individuals, however, she said that over time, with the availability of information and having more awareness, attitudes have changed.

“We recognise that mental health, physical health, emotional health, all of it is similar, meaning that we all experience situations where our health is affected,” said

The theme of this year’s World Mental Health Day, observed Thursday, was “Working Together to Prevent Suicide.”