I know there's a general mental health day on October 10th and a Coming out as LGBTQ+ day on October 11th (odd that they're right next to each other), but I've never heard about a day dedicated to needing to "come out" or simply tell people you love that you've been diagnosed with a mental health disorder. Due to mental health issues being so stigmatized, telling people you have a mental health disorder can be nerve wracking and can even bar you from working certain jobs. So is there a nationally and/or internationally recognized day where we "come out" of the "closet" as people with mental health disorders?

P.S. as a bisexual woman, I know the LGBTQ+ comparison to mental health issues is problematic but I only brought it up because I want to know if there is a mental health version of LGBTQ coming out day.

This is the only article I could find that mentioned both in this way: https://pacificaidsnetwork.org/2017/10/08/mental-health-day-coming-day-linked-stigma/

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ If you can't find it, most likely not (I presume you did your minimal background search). Are you sure this is your question, though? The way you are phrasing this sounds more like an argument that there should be. Perhaps focus your question around that, i.e., should there be? But, depending on the phrasing this might be fairly subjective. Maybe: would individuals that have mental health issues be helped by being encouraged to talk about it publicly? Just suggestions. $\endgroup$
    – Steven Jeuris
    Jul 2 at 6:14
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    $\begingroup$ Thank you for the suggestions. I really only added in some of that info about why I think there should be a day was so people on here could understand why I might want to know if a day like this existed. But the reason why I brought it to this website is because using the words "coming out" in my Google searches brought up only LGBTQ results. So I'm not sure how to phrase the question to only get mental health results. I was hoping someone here would either know the answer or know how to search for the answer properly. $\endgroup$
    – RexxiA
    Jul 2 at 6:19

Stigma is indeed a major barrier for seeking treatment. As such, several mental health awareness events focus on reducing stigma in order to encourage patients to come out and seek help and support from health professionals, their family, and community. While these observances do not exclusively focus on coming out, sharing experiences, or seeking help, they do often include this goal in their agenda:

  • Mental Health Awareness Month (May): "Mental Health Awareness Month strives to reduce the stigma (negative attitudes and misconceptions) that surrounds mental illnesses." For example, the theme in 2016 was: "Life with a Mental Illness - and called on individuals to share what life with a mental illness feels like for them ... encourage people to speak up about their own experiences ..."
  • Children's Mental Health Awareness Day (May 7): "Teens learned about how to take care of their mental health, ... and how to reach out to their parents/guardians to start a conversation around mental health."
  • National Day Without Stigma (Oct 9): "The objective of National Day Without Stigma is to eliminate the shame and discrimination surrounding mental health disorders by creating communities of understanding, support, and help-seeking."
  • Mental Health Week (Australia) (Oct 10-17): "Raising awareness of mental health issues and reducing stigma associated with seeking support."
  • World Mental Health Day (Oct 10): "... an international day for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy against social stigma."
  • Mental Illness Awareness Week (Oct 5–11): "Programs during Mental Illness Awareness Week are designed to create community awareness and discussion in an effort to put an end to stigma and advocate for treatment and recovery."
  • World Teen Mental Wellness Day (March 2): “raise greater awareness of mental health issues among teens, as well as provide education about removing stigmas surrounding preventative mental health.”
  • Mental Health Awareness Week (May 8–14): "... an annual event when there is an opportunity for the whole of the UK to focus on achieving good mental health."
  • Asian American Pacific Islander Mental Health Awareness Day (May 10): ".... Asian Pacific American Mental Health Awareness Day will address the mental challenges faced by these communities and provide adequate tools to deal with them."

There are also events for specific disorders listed here, including autism, suicide, down syndrome, and others. Another list of mental health awareness events here.


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