World Mental Health Day, 2020
World Mental Health Day, on 10 October, is a day for us to unite in our efforts to improve the mental health of people around the world. The theme for World Mental Health Day 2020 will be:
Mental Health for All:
Greater Investment – Greater Access
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization stated:
“The world is accepting the concept of universal health coverage. Mental health must be an integral part of UHC. Nobody should be denied access to mental health care because she or he is poor or lives in a remote place.”
“World Mental Health Day is an opportunity for the world to come together and begin redressing the historic neglect of Mental Health. We are already seeing the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on people’s mental well-being, and this is just the beginning” says WHO Director-General Dr Tedros.
Mental health is one of the most neglected areas of public health. Close to 1 billion people are living with a mental disorder, 3 million people die every year from the harmful use of alcohol and one person dies every 40 seconds by suicide. And now, billions of people around the world have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, which is having a further impact on people’s mental health. Yet, relatively few people around the world have access to quality mental health services.
In low- and middle-income countries, more than 75% of people with mental, neurological and substance use disorders receive no treatment for their condition at all. Furthermore, stigma, discrimination, punitive legislation and human rights abuses are still widespread. The limited access to quality, affordable mental health care in the world before the pandemic, and particularly in humanitarian emergencies and conflict settings, has been further diminished due to COVID-19 as the pandemic has disrupted health services around the world.
Primary causes have been infection and the risk of infection in long-stay facilities such as care homes and psychiatric institutions; barriers to meeting people face-to-face; mental health staff being infected with the virus; and the closing of mental health facilities to convert them into care facilities for people with COVID-19. That’s why, for this year’s World Mental Health Day, WHO, together with partner organizations, United for Global Mental Health and the World Federation for Mental Health, is calling for a massive scale-up in investment in mental health. To encourage public action around the world, a World Mental Health Day campaign, Move for mental health: let’s invest will kick off in September.
For more information visit WFMH.
World Mental Health Day is organized by the World Federation for Mental Health
This year’s Day is supported by WHO, the International Association for Suicide Prevention, and United for Global Mental Health.
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