“Seriously, I don’t need any help” – The World Mental Health Day reminds us that everyone has a right to mental health

The World Mental Health Day is celebrated on October 10, 2023 with the the theme “Mental health is a universal human right.”

The World Mental Health Day is celebrated today, and the topic couldn’t be more relevant than now during the dark month of October. The theme of this year’s World Mental Health Day is “Mental health is a universal human right.” Although the theme feels like a given, as a matter of fact, it’s still far from it. For instance, the Finnish government has acknowledged mental health as a societal problem in the government programme, but the cuts geared towards livelihood (link available only in Finnish) are threatening to increase inequality and malaise.

OYY’s tagline is “a good life for students”, and one of the cornerstones of a good life is good mental health. The wellbeing of the mind can be supported by getting enough sleep, by exercising and by maintaining relationships. However, we don’t always have enough resources, and our mental health can be poor despite all the previously mentioned things. In these kinds of cases it would be important to offer mental health services to students. The cuts planned by the government (article only in Finnish) are partly increasing mental health problems. For example, combining studies and work can lead to fatigue and depression, which means that students are entering the workforce while already feeling fatigued. If a student doesn’t work, they might not have enough money for things that improve their mental health, such as hobbies or therapy. The Finnish Student Health and Wellbeing Survey (KOTT) shows us that students are already feeling mentally unwell. Nearly 60% of university students (diagram only in Finnish) feel mentally stressed. Good mental health is a universal human right  – it doesn’t belong to only those who have the money to pay for private psychiatrists. Or to those, who are already ill enough for the treatments to be mandatory.

Good mental health also belongs to those who feel they are doing “just fine.” I’m also a part of this group; I have known I need mental health services, but I have felt that my mental health hasn’t been bad enough and that I would just take up space from others that actually need the help. For this reason, I haven’t contacted mental health services. Therefore, I’d like to remind you that mental health really is a universal human right  – it’s worth seeking help before your health takes too big of a hit. 

You can participate in the World Mental Health Day for instance by asking your friends how they are doing and by thinking about the things that support your wellbeing. With these words, I’d like to wish you all healthy weekdays.


This blog is written by OYY’s communications trainee Manta Mankinen.


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