Updated: Oct 16, 2021
World Mental Health Day (WMHD), celebrated annually on 10 October, is organised by the World Federation for Mental Health and endorsed by the World Health Organisation (WHO). The event represents a global commitment to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world and to mobilise efforts in support of mental health. This year, the theme for Sunday's event was 'Mental Health in an Unequal World'.
Current evidence shows that 25-30% of population suffer from some form of mental health issues. This represents around one in four or even one in three of the general population who is suffering from some type of mental health illness.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the mental health situation around the world, increasing new cases of mental health conditions and worsening pre-existing ones. It has also produced significant disruptions to services for mental, neurological and substance use disorders. Populations that have historically faced a higher burden of mental health conditions and reduced access to treatment are being disproportionately affected by the mental health impacts of COVID-19. We expect this to only worsen as we face the long-term effects repercussions of the psychological impact of the COVID pandemic. Now more than ever, as the COVID-19 pandemic highlights and deepens long-standing inequities in mental health globally, it is essential that we work to make mental health care a reality for all.
The WHO as well as other mental health organisations promote the concept of “there is no health without mental health” in order to get the recognition that mental health deserves in our health care systems. There is an urgent need that we understand the importance of mental well-being and positive mental health. While we alert society to this, we also need to ensure that health care workers get better education about mental illnesses and follow the connection between mental health and physical health.
World Psychiatric Association is committed to continue raising an awareness about mental health and its impact on well-being. We hope we will get support from health care professionals as well as from the civil society to highlight this issue for the attention of governments and policy makers.
You can view the message by Prof. Afzal Javed, President WPA, on World Mental Health Day here.
You can read more about this year’s World Mental Health Day here:
Author: Prof. Afzal Javed, President, World Psychiatric Association