Northern Ireland

Praxis Care launches World Mental Health day campaign

Mental health charity Praxis Care is to launch its campaign in the run-up to this year's World Mental Health Day.

The theme of World Mental Health Day in 2010 is specifically exploring the impact of four chronic diseases - cardiovascular, diabetes, cancer and respiratory illnesses- on people's mental health and well being.

Sunday 10 October has been designated by the World Health Organisation as a global day to highlight the issue of mental health.

The charity launches its 2010 campaign at Parliament Buildings, in Stormont, on the outskirts of Belfast, on Wednesday.

Speaking before the event Nevin Ringland, Chief Executive of Praxis Care said: "I would urge our local politicians and community leaders to take positive steps to promote good mental health."

He said it was important to address mental ill health as "a primary health care issue" and ensure it was treated in the same way as other illnesses.

About 450m people world-wide are thought to have some form of mental illness.

This includes conditions such as anxiety, neurosis, depression, psychosis, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

Public figures such as Stephen Fry, Winston Churchill, Paul Merton, Spike Milligan and Ronnie O'Sullivan have all been diagnosed with mental health issues.

Praxis Care provides care for vulnerable children and adults affected by mental ill heath, learning disability, acquired brain injury and dementia in Northern Ireland, England, the Republic of Ireland and the Isle of Man.

That care involves a range of accommodation and support services for 1,432 people in 66 separate units.