In 1948, the WHO held the First World Health Assembly. The Assembly decided to celebrate April 7th of each year, since 1950, as the World Health Day. The World Health Day is held to mark WHO's founding, and is seen as an opportunity by the organization to draw worldwide attention to a subject of major importance to global health each year. The WHO organizes international, regional and local events on the day related to a particular theme. World Health Day is acknowledged by various governments and non-governmental organizations with interests in public health issues, who also organize activities and highlight their support in media reports, such as the Global Health Council.
World Health Day is one of eight official global health campaigns marked by WHO, along with World Tuberculosis Day, World Immunization Week, World Malaria Day, World No Tobacco Day, World AIDS Day, World Blood Donor Day, and World Hepatitis Day.
2017: Depression: Let's Talk
World Health Day 2017, celebrated on April 7th, aims to mobilize action on depression. This condition affects people of all ages, from all walks of life, in all countries. It impacts on people’s ability to carry out everyday tasks, with consequences for families, friends, and even communities, workplaces, and health care systems. At worst, depression can lead to self-inflicted injury and suicide. A better understanding of depression – which can be prevented and treated – will help reduce the stigma associated with the illness, and lead to more people seeking help.
WHAT IS DEPRESSION?
People with a depressed mood can feel sad, anxious, empty, hopeless, helpless, worthless, guilty, irritable, angry, ashamed, or restless. They may lose interest in activities that were once pleasurable, experience loss of appetite or overeating, have problems concentrating, remembering details or making decisions, experience relationship difficulties and may contemplate, attempt or commit suicide. Insomnia, excessive sleeping, fatigue, aches, pains, digestive problems, or reduced energy may also be present.
Depressed mood is a feature of some psychiatric syndromes such as major depressive disorder and dysthymia, but it may also be a normal temporary reaction to life events such as bereavement, a symptom of some bodily ailments or a side effect of some drugs and medical treatments. A DSM diagnosis distinguishes an episode (or 'state') of depression from the habitual (or 'trait') depressive symptoms someone can experience as part of their personality.
Depressed mood may not require professional treatment, and may be a normal temporary reaction to life events, a symptom of some medical condition, or a side effect of some drugs or medical treatments. A prolonged depressed mood, especially in combination with other symptoms, may lead to a diagnosis of a psychiatric or medical condition which may benefit from treatment. Different sub-divisions of depression have different treatment approaches. In the United States, it has been estimated that two thirds of people with depression do not actively seek treatment. The World Health Organization (WHO) has predicted that by 2030, depression will account for the highest level of disability accorded any physical or mental disorder in the world (WHO, 2008).