The World Health Organization calls for global mental health reform. This is especially important because the number of people suffering from mental problems has risen sharply since the start of the corona pandemic.
Cases of depression and anxiety rose 25 percent in the first year of the pandemic alone, the WHO said in publishing its largest mental health study in more than 20 years.
Nearly a billion people, or nearly one in eight people worldwide, had mental health problems in 2019 before the pandemic started. People with mental health problems die on average 10 to 20 years earlier than the general population, the report warns.
Some of the leading causes of depression are childhood sexual abuse and bullying. The report, therefore, calls for tackling both issues through social services, support for families with difficulty and emotional learning programs at school.
Socio-economic inequalities, wars, the climate crisis and health threats, such as a pandemic, also increase the risk of mental health problems.
“Everyone encounters someone with a mental illness at some point in their life. Good mental health leads to good physical health and this new report is a compelling case for change,” said Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “Investing in mental health is investing in a better life and a better future for everyone.”