Today is World Health Day, which marks the 70th year anniversary of the World Health Organization (WHO), and this year, WHO has focused the day and a yearlong campaign on depression.
In the past 10 years, there’s been an 18 percent increase in the number of people living with depression worldwide. WHO estimates over 300 million people in the world currently live with depression and it has topped the charts as the leading cause of ill health and disability.
Despite the number of campaigns for mental health, and celebrities and influencers who have come forward with mental health issues like depression and anxiety, mental health issues are still highly stigmatized. Mental health care and normalizing mental illness have come a long way even in recent years, but there’s still work to be done.
In 2007, a survey published by the CDC reported that only 57 percent of adults believed that people are caring and sympathetic to persons with mental illness, but only 25 percent of adults with a mental health problem could say the same.
The stark contrast in perceptions between the adults with and without mental illness better shows the reality of stigmatization around mental health, which influences the number of people with a mental illness who actually seek care.
WHO’s depression-focused campaign, “Depression: let’s talk,” aims to get more people with depression to seek and get help. If we want to increase access to mental healthcare and reduce the stigma around mental illness, we have to talk about it first.
If you think that you or someone you know has depression, get the help you need today. There are different types of depression, a wide variety of symptoms and several treatment options, including therapy or psychiatry visits from your computer at home. Most importantly, there are 300 million other people in the world who also have depression, so you are not alone. Let’s talk about depression and mental health not just today, but every day.
For further information and resources, see the links below: