World Mental Health Day .. Shocking numbers about suicide and suffering


Al Ain News – Ruqaya Antar

Saturday 10/10/2020 1:32 AM Abu Dhabi time

The World Mental Health Day, which is held October 10 every year, comes in an exceptional circumstance that witnesses the outbreak of the Corona pandemic, which imposed more pressure on people and deepened the pain of patients with mental disorders, depression and autism, and added new challenges and responsibilities to health care workers .

Mental health is essentially a neglected area despite its utmost importance in light of the suffering of about one billion people from mental disorders, one person committing suicide every 40 seconds and the death of 3 million annually as a result of alcohol abuse.

The importance of investment in this field doubles as billions have been affected by the “Covid-19” pandemic, the outbreak of wars in some countries, and the spread of tragic emergency events such as thunderous explosions and huge fires.

Shocking numbers

The World Health Organization stated that nearly a billion people suffer from mental disorders, with expectations that the number will double, especially since anyone anywhere can fall prey to it or be harmed by it.

According to its statistics, depression is one of the main causes of mental illness and disability among adolescents and adults, while suicide kills nearly 800,000 people annually, or one person every 40 seconds, and is the second leading cause of death for young people between 15-29 years old.

It revealed that one out of every 5 children and adolescents suffers from a mental disorder, and the loss of productivity caused by depression and anxiety is one of the most common mental disorders and costs the global economy a trillion US dollars annually, noting that people with severe mental disorders die 10 years earlier.

The international organization warned of the wide gap between demand and supply related to mental health services, and said that relatively few people in the world have access to these services as a result of the chronic shortage over decades in investing and promoting mental health, preventing its diseases and caring for the injured.

According to the latest statistics, more than 75% of people with mental illnesses, especially those caused by drug abuse, do not receive any treatment in low and middle income countries, taking into account the prevalence of stigma, discrimination and violations of the rights of people with mental illnesses.

Also, countries spend less than 2% of their national budgets allocated to health on average on mental health, indicating that development aid directed to mental health has not exceeded 1% so far.

Corona pandemic

The “Covid-19” virus did not affect mental patients who suffer only, but extended to all groups and caused a revolution in the lives of many, as it brought with it many challenges for health workers who provide care in difficult circumstances, and students who had to adapt to studying about After having limited communication with teachers and friends.

The pandemic also affected the lives of workers whose livelihoods are at risk, as well as the huge number of people who have fallen into poverty, but the greatest damage to the coronavirus has occurred on those actually afflicted with psychological problems, as they suffer from social isolation more than before.

While quality mental health care services around the world were limited before the outbreak of the pandemic, the Corona virus exacerbated the situation as a result of disrupting health care around the world, for fear of the spread of infection in long-term patient accommodation facilities, such as care homes and psychiatric institutions.

Also among the reasons are the multiplication of obstacles that prevent people from meeting face-to-face, the infection of mental health personnel with the virus, and the closure of mental health facilities or their transformation into facilities for the care of people with Covid-19 disease.

Based on the experience gained from previous emergencies, the World Health Organization expected that the need for support in the field of mental health will increase in the coming months and years, which requires investment at the national and international levels in mental health programs more than ever before.

Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, said: “We are beginning to witness the consequences of the (Covid-19) pandemic on mental health, and this is only the beginning. If we do not immediately make serious commitments to increase investment in mental health, the health, social and economic consequences of this That would be far-reaching. ”

Feasible investment

The World Health Organization, top world leaders and psychologists are preparing to mark the World Mental Health Day, which is an opportunity to raise awareness of mental health issues and mobilize efforts to support them, with a global online event being held for the first time called a “major event”, during which celebrities try to tell the world what they can do To improve their mental health.

“Take action for mental health: let’s invest in it” is the slogan of a global event in which world leaders and professionals seek to clarify the necessity for mental health to be among everyone’s priorities, while providing advice to those suffering in an event interspersed with some of the most popular musical connections by international singers.

The World Health Organization said the event provides “an opportunity for us to do something that emphasizes the importance of life, and as individuals to take concrete measures to support our mental health and our friends and family members facing difficulties; as employers steps to develop mental health care programs for employees; and as governments to establish or expand mental health services; As journalists, they introduce the world to what can be done to make mental health a reality for everyone.

She also reassured everyone that depression and anxiety, which are among the most common mental health conditions, can be treated by talking therapy and medication or a combination of them, explaining that regular checkups for people with severe mental disorders protect them from the risk of premature death.

She pointed to the importance of investing in mental health services, explaining that every US dollar invested in expanding treatment for depression and anxiety achieves a return of 5 US dollars.

Every US $ 1 invested in evidence-based treatment of drug dependence yields up to US $ 7 from reduced costs of crime and criminal justice.

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