World Mental Health Day – The awareness campaign “Live, do not suffer”

Dear Partners, 

On 10th of October (Saturday) we celebrate the World Day of Mental Health and the start of Awareness and information campaign “Live, do not suffer” in support of people with mental illnesses. This year in global plan World Day of Mental Health will pass under the motto “Mental health for all”.

Statistics in Bulgaria shows that patients with schizophrenia and those under medical observation are 25,849:

  • Between 10% -15% (about 2,500-3,000) needs support in the community
  • 1,000 are accommodated in specialized institutions for long-term care
  • About 230 residing long-term in state psychiatric hospitals

Unfortunately, these figures summarize only identified cases.

Dr. Michail Okolijski, expert from the office of WHO in Bulgaria, says that most needed is to start talking openly about issues of mental health and participation in awareness campaigns and it is based on understanding, that globally this area has still not been appropriately funded despite its importance.

At the beginning of October 2020, The Ministry of health published the National Strategy for Mental Health (2020 – 2030). The strategy provides a vision for modern psychiatric service and ease of access to treatment.

“World of Maria” Foundation has a mission to improve the quality of life of people with intellectual disabilities and their families,as and to support personal their implementation by providing of access to quality services, developing training and  suitable employment. The foundation implements programs for work practice and supported employment for people with intellectual disabilities. At Daycare center functions the first of its kind “Secure cafe” in Sofia.

In support of people with mental health problems is the Association “Patient Care” and they developed Viber chatbot “Live, do not suffer”. For those who are interested – join the QR code here:

This chatbot represents an innovative free personal digital assistant, created to help everyone, interested in their mental status, as well to facilitate any  user with quick and convenient access to useful information about different mental illnesses. Chatbot will provide to consumers its revolutionary for Bulgaria Geo-location and public data with medical facilities and specialist psychiatrists. 

In Viber platform anyone can quickly find the nearest psychiatrist, medical facility or emergency center in correspondence with his location and to connect with them directly or to go on location for consultation – for himself or for their loved ones.

The awareness campaign “Live, do not suffer” was launched thanks to the support of the Foundation “Global Initiative in Psychiatry”, Foundation “World of Maria”, World Health Organization in Bulgaria, National Center for Public Health and Analysis, Portal of the patient.

Our contribution as people

On 10th of October – World Mental Health Day,  between 10:00 and 12:00 am in Sofia in front of the fountains of the National Palace of Culture and around the St. Nedelya Church volunteers from the Foundation “World of Maria” and Foundation “Global Initiative in Psychiatry” will surprise the citizens and the guests of the capital with symbolic gesture.

To support the campaign you can follow the link and download an avatar you can put on your profile photo in Facebook. The spread of the message will cause the community to talk about it, to wake up all, that the human mental health is extremely fragile (just as, as and butterfly from the logo of “Live, do not suffer”). Not on the last place to accept  people with mental health and their problems and to show them support.

About the logo

Man’s hands are that part of the butterfly, which wants to fly – to live, and to be free and without suffering. Hands “embrace”, which symbolize sense of caring and compassion.

Thanks to everyone, which will be included in the campaign!