In 2019, nearly a billion people – including 14% of the world’s adolescents – were living with a mental disorder.
Today, the World Health Organisation (WHO), released its “largest review of world mental health since the turn of the century” . The report serves as a blueprint for governments, academics, health professionals, civil society and others with an ambition to support the world in transforming mental health.
“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. The inextricable links between mental health and public health, human rights and socioeconomic development mean that transforming policy and practice in mental health can deliver real, substantive benefits for individuals, communities and countries everywhere. Investment into mental health is an investment into a better life and future for all.” – Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General
The report touches on a number of aspects including stigma, discrimination and human rights violations against people with mental health conditions, which continue to be wide spread in communities and care systems everywhere. Whilst we acknowledge the progress already made in the field of mental health, the WHO reminds us that as far as we’ve come we have to accept that “change is not happening fast enough, and the story of mental health remains one of need and neglect with 2 out of 3 dollars of scarce government spending on mental health allocated to stand-alone psychiatric hospitals rather than community-based mental health services where people are best served.”
The World Mental Health Report calls on all countries to accelerate their implementation of the Comprehensive mental health action plan 2013–2030. The report also provides three main call-to-actions. These are:
- Deepen the value and commitment we give to mental health.
- Reshape environments that influence mental health, including homes, communities, schools, workplaces, health care services, natural environments.
- Strengthen mental health care by changing where, how, and by whom mental health care is delivered and received.
SAFMH stands with the WHO and agrees that we can no longer delay this this necessary transformation in mental health care. The time for action is now!
You can read the full World Mental Health Report here.