With its appearance in 2014, the White January is one of the Brazilian campaigns created to draw attention to the health of the population, and in this case, issues and needs related to the mental and emotional health of people and human institutions are addressed.

Conceived by psychologist Leonardo Abrahão, the campaign came to life in January 2014 when health professionals from the psychology area of Uberlândia, Minas Gerais, went to the streets, institutions, and media in the city to talk to people about Mental Health, Emotional Health, the meaning of life, quality of life and harmony in human relationships.

Since 2014, White January has been consolidating itself as the largest campaign in the world in favor of building a culture of Mental Health in humanity. Liberal professionals, social institutions, politicians, artists, religious leaders, and citizens sensitive to the cause have embraced the Campaign and its proposal for the psychoeducation of people.

Many people confuse mental health with mental illness, however, having a healthy mind is not related to the absence of any illness, but to a series of factors that directly imply the feeling of feeling good. In a nutshell, having mental health means being well with yourself and those around you, knowing how to deal with and accept not only the demands of life, but also emotions, be they good or unpleasant, and recognizing your limits by seeking help when necessary.

Selection of the white color

After all, why White January? Well, there are already other campaigns that use different colors, certainly among the most remembered are Yellow September, Pink October, and Blue November, and all the colors were chosen to refer to something that symbolizes the campaign. And January refers to the beginning of a new cycle, as it is the first month of the year when people are more emotional and full of plans and goals.

"And, as on a 'blank sheet or canvas', everyone can be inspired to write or rewrite their own life stories."

Covid-19: pandemic and mental health

2020 was a difficult year for a large part of the world population, and studies and research on the side effects of the COVID-19 pandemic began to emerge and show the great challenges facing humanity: in addition to winning the new Coronavirus, individuals and social institutions must also join forces and develop public and private strategies to protect, strengthen and promote people's mental health.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the pandemic has interrupted essential mental health services in 93% of the countries in the world and, at the same time, has intensified the demand for these same services. In Brazil - a country that is already one of the world record holders concerning depression, anxiety, and absolute numbers of suicides -, the first phase of a survey carried out in late 2020 by the Ministry of Health detected anxiety in 86.5% of the individuals surveyed, post-traumatic stress disorder in 45.5% and severe depression in 16% of the study participants.

Another study, carried out by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) with 12,000 people from 33 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean (30.8% were Brazilian), revealed that 35% of respondents reported an increase in the frequency of excessive drinking behavior in a short time - situation that can trigger serious problems about the Mental Health of those involved. Besides, there is no lack of studies on the expansion of domestic violence, child abuse, and emotional illness on the part of young people and the elderly subjected to social isolation.

For more information from the source, visit the official website of the White January Campaign.