This year's World Health Day targets depression

Ray Weaver
April 8, 2017

According to the Ministry of Health, depression is the strongest risk factor for suicide and in 2016, the male to female ratio for deaths by suicide in Belize was four to one.

According to a new report from the World Health Organization (WHO), depression is now the leading cause of disability and ill health worldwide.

This year's World Health Day (April 7) is focused on depression. "Although depression can and does affect people of all ages, from all walks of life, the risk of becoming depressed is increased by poverty, unemployment, life events such as the death of a loved one or a relationship break-up, physical illness and problems caused by alcohol and drug use", the World Health Organization noted.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death for USA residents age 5 to 24, according to 2014 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The best way to save an individual from the grasp of depression is to allow them to vent their feelings and teaching them how to move on from their past mistakes.

We need to identify ways to prevent depression crossing generations by providing effective approaches for families and in schools. Even in high-income countries, almost 50% of depressed people do not get treatment. The above underscores the importance of overcoming this challenge. It's high time we Indians denied the existence of depression and made depressed people feel even more bad about their condition.

As for the next step, create awareness among your people managers and consider offering training on how to manage a team member with depression.

The WHO has launched a year-long campaign called, "Depression: let's talk" in an attempt to break stigmas associated with mental health issues and encourage people who need help to seek it. We also shall continue to strive towards the promotion of healthier standards of living and the implementation of programmes that enhance health indices of the society, particularly those of youth.

The Health Minister said that proper implementation of the Mental Health Policy would be ensured.

At least 322 million people worldwide experience depression, with almost 800,000 people dying by suicide each year. Most of the deaths across the globe are caused mainly due to depression.

The WHO Mental Health Atlas 2011 states that the government's expenditure on mental health in India was only 0.06% of the total health budget. Therefore nearly all of us suffer from varying degrees of mental injuries or depression.

Each year is given a theme to highlight a different global health concern.

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