After the COVID-19 pandemic, WHO Calls for Special Measures for Mental Health around the world
The World Health Organization (WHO) has released the World Mental Health Report, which has been reviewed for more than 20 years, with a signed action plan to change mental health management in all member countries, Fox News reported recently.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, “Good mental health translates to good physical health.
“The inextricable link between mental health and public health, human rights and socioeconomic development means that changing mental health policies and practices can deliver tangible benefits to all individuals, communities and nations,” he said. Investing in health is an investment in a better life and future for all.”
According to the report, an estimated 1 billion people, including 14% of youth worldwide, lived with a mental health disorder in 2019. Mental health disorders are known to be the leading cause of disability.
People with severe mental health conditions die an average of 10 to 20 years earlier than the general population due to preventable physical illness. In particular, the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated certain mental health conditions, including a 25% increase in depression and anxiety in the first year alone.
Additionally, sexual abuse and bullying were two major causes of childhood depression. But it turns out that many people with depression don't get treatment.
It is estimated that around one-third of high-income people with depression receive formal mental health care, but only 3% in low- and low-income countries receive at least adequate care. Suicide accounts for more than 1% of deaths, and more than half occur before the age of 50.
“In countries around the world, the people at greatest risk of mental illness and the least likely to receive adequate services are the poorest and most disadvantaged people in society,” the WHO said in a press release.
To improve mental health, WHO encourages governments, individuals and communities to strengthen the 'values and commitment' to mental health and its care, and to change the 'physical, social and economic characteristics of the environment' that affect mental health. It has made three broad recommendations, including those that require
“All countries have ample opportunity to make meaningful progress towards improving the mental health of their people,” said Devora Kestel, WHO’s director of the Mental Health. "Whether it's how we embrace health, develop or enhance community mental health services, or integrate mental health into general health care, the many examples in this report show that strategic change can make a big difference."