Organisation releases report on mental health

Health Watch

MENTAL disorders are the leading cause of disability, according to a report released by the World Health Organistion (WHO) last week.
It said: “In 2019, nearly a billion people, including 14 per cent of the world’s adolescents, were living with a mental disorder.
“Suicide accounted for more than 1 in 100 deaths and 58 per cent of suicides occurred before age 50.”
The report provides a blueprint for governments, academics, health professionals, civil society and others with an ambition to support the world in transforming mental health.
The report says people with severe mental health conditions die on average 10 to 20 years earlier than the general population, mostly due to preventable physical diseases.
Childhood sexual abuse and bullying victimisation are major causes of depression.
Social and economic inequalities, public health emergencies, war, and the climate crisis are among the global, structural threats to mental health.
Depression and anxiety went up by more than 25 per cent in the first year of the pandemic alone.
Stigma, discrimination and human rights violations against people with mental health conditions are widespread in communities and care systems everywhere; 20 countries still criminalise attempted suicide.
Across countries, it is the poorest and most disadvantaged in society who are at greatest risk of mental ill-health and who are also the least likely to receive adequate services.
Even before the Corona virus (Covid-19) pandemic, just a small fraction of people in need had access to effective, affordable and quality mental healthcare.
WHO director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said: “Everyone’s life touches someone with a mental health condition.
“Good mental health translates to good physical health and this new report makes a compelling case for change.”
Dévora Kestel, director of the WHO’s mental health and substance use department said every country had “ample opportunity to make meaningful progress towards better mental health for its people”.

Leave a Reply