World Mental Health Day 2022!
Mental health care for all: let's make it a reality...
Many aspects of mental health have been challenged, and even before the pandemic in 2019, an estimated one in eight people globally was living with a mental disorder. At the same time, the services, skills, and funding available for mental health remain in short supply and fall far below what is needed, especially in low and middle-income countries.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created a global crisis for mental health, fueling short- and long-term stresses and undermining the mental health of millions. Estimates put the rise in both anxiety and depressive disorders at more than 25% during the first year of the pandemic. At the same time, mental health services have been severely disrupted and the treatment gap for mental health conditions has widened.
Growing social and economic inequalities, protracted conflicts, violence and public health emergencies affect whole populations, threatening progress towards improved well-being; a staggering 84 million people worldwide were forcibly displaced in 2021. We must deepen the value and commitment we give to mental health as individuals, communities and governments and match that value with more commitment, engagement and investment by all stakeholders, across all sectors. We must strengthen mental health care so that the full spectrum of mental health needs is met through a community-based network of accessible, affordable and quality services and supports.
Stigma and discrimination continue to be a barrier to social inclusion and access to the right care; importantly, we can all play our part in increasing awareness about which preventive mental health interventions work and World Mental Health Day is an opportunity to do that collectively. We envision a world in which mental health is valued, promoted and protected; where everyone has an equal opportunity to enjoy mental health and exercise their human rights; and where everyone can access the mental health care they need.
The Health Argument
Close to one billion people have a mental disorder, and anyone, anywhere, can be affected.
Depression is a leading cause of disability worldwide and is a significant contributor to the overall global burden of disease. Globally, it is estimated that 5% of adults suffer from depression.
Globally, one in seven 10-19-year-olds experience a mental disorder. Half of all such diseases start by the age of 14, but most are undetected and untreated.
People with severe mental disorders like schizophrenia tend to die 10-20 years earlier than the general population.
One in every 100 deaths is by suicide. It is the fourth leading cause of death for young people aged 15-29.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a considerable impact on people’s mental health.
The Care Gap
Despite the universal nature and the magnitude of mental ill health, the gap between the demand for mental health services and supply remains substantial.
Relatively few people around the world have access to quality mental health services.
The severe gaps that still exist in mental health care result from chronic under-investment over many decades in mental health promotion, prevention and care.
Stigma, discrimination and human rights abuses against people with mental health conditions remain widespread.
The Economic Cost
The lost productivity resulting from depression and anxiety, two of the most common mental disorders, costs the global economy US$ 1 trillion annually.
The Investment Deficit
On average, countries spend just 2% of their national health budgets on mental health. This has changed little in recent years.
Despite an increase in development assistance for mental health in recent years, it has never exceeded 1% of development assistance for health.
The Good News
Some of the most common mental health conditions, depression and anxiety, can be treated with talking therapies, medication, or a combination.
For every US$ 1 invested in scaled-up treatment for depression and anxiety, there is a return of US$ 5.
For every US$ 1 invested in evidence-based treatment for drug dependence, there is a return of up to US$ 7 in reduced crime and criminal justice costs.
Generalist health workers can be trained to diagnose and treat mental health conditions.
Regular health checks of people with severe mental disorders can prevent premature death.
The quality of life of people with autism and dementia can be significantly improved when their caregivers receive appropriate training.
The rights of people living with mental health conditions can be protected and promoted through mental health legislation, policy, development of affordable, quality community-based mental health services and the involvement of people with lived experience.
Taking care of yourself and others
But World Mental Health Day is about more than advocacy. It also provides an opportunity to empower people to look after their own mental health and provide support to others.
If you enjoyed reading my note, please share them with others. You can also follow my page on FACEBOOK, TWITTER OR INSTAGRAM.
Thanks for reading Mental Health Notes! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.