Today on the 7th of April 2017 the World Health organization is focusing on depression, as it has now become the leading cause of disability worldwide! The goal of this campaign is to encourage people worldwide to seek and get help for depression as now more than 300 million people are living with depression which is an increase of more than 18% between 2005 and 2015!
Depression in itself can often be seen as just a mental disability but it also has many physical effects on the body, for one it can affect the immune system, making it harder for your body to fight infection.
Other serious illnesses or conditions that coexist with depression include:
- Heart attack
- Coronary artery disease (without heart attack)
- Parkinson’s disease
- Autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis or lupus
- Kidney disease
There are so many reasons we need to focus on bringing depression into the light, a lack of support for people with mental disorders as well as a fear of stigma prevent many from accessing the treatment they need to live healthy and productive lives.
“The continuing stigma associated with mental illness was the reason why we decided to name our campaign Depression: let’s talk,” said Dr Shekhar Saxena, Director of the Department of Mental Health
An increased investment is also needed within this area, as in many countries there is very little support available for people with mental health disorders. Even in high-income countries, nearly 50% of people with depression do not get treatment.
Check out more on World Health Day here.
So let’s stand together speak out and get this issue noticed as we need to pay more attention to mental health and the effect is is having on our society and the world!