World Mental Health Day – A message from ICAO’s Secretary General

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World Mental Health Day is recognized on 10 October each year. It is crucial now more than ever to bring the conversation around mental health and well-being to light.

We are all committed to making a positive impact on international civil aviation for the benefit of Member States and their peoples. While this can be rewarding in many ways, it’s not unusual to undergo stress and bear a great deal of responsibility and pressure to accomplish our daily tasks.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought additional challenges to our lives and it may have increased the prevalence of poor mental health among us. As our world continues to recover from this pandemic, we must pay particular attention to the mental health risks that will no doubt persist past this pandemic. Anxiety-related to uncertainty, social isolation, fear for family, friends and self has affected many of us.

This pandemic has disproportionally affected those most vulnerable to mental health issues: people with existing mental health conditions, many experiencing even greater social isolation than before; families juggling childcare and work; young people, and those who have remained separated from their families.

This year, the United Nations system is moving from observing World Mental Health Day to dedicating the entire month of October as World Mental Health Month, with the goal to raise awareness about and make provisions for workplace mental health and well-being.

During this difficult time, we can work together to build resources and understanding, and find support for the mental health challenges we are facing.

Fang Liu
Secretary General
International Civil Aviation Organization