WHO Warns Against A Global Mental Health Crisis


by Iqra Zafar

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New York: WHO reports that almost 1 billion people are suffering from one or another type of mental health condition. This includes both children and adults and most of them lack access to the treatment.

While presenting the World Mental Health Report 2022, UN Secretary-General Anotonio Guterres warned against global mental health.

"We are living through a global mental health crisis," said Guterres in a video message. "Services may be unavailable or unaffordable. Stigma also prevents people from seeking help," he further added.

Mental health is associated with several physical and mental health conditions as well as their social impacts. "The costs, both human and financial, are huge. Depression and anxiety alone cost the global economy an estimated 1 trillion US dollars per year." - said Guterres.


While talking about the causes he said that the COVID-19 pandemic has played a significant role alongside a lack of awareness about mental health challenges. During the first year of a global pandemic, a 25% surge was reported in common mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression. "Unfortunately, in most countries, mental health remains the most neglected area of health policy," Guterres warned.

The report presented on the occasion is a roadmap for the countries to deal with the mental health challenges in an effective manner. “We need to transform our attitudes, actions and approaches to promote and protect mental health, and to provide and care for those in need,” said WHO’s Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

“It highlights where improvement is needed and how it can be achieved, starting in childhood and continuing throughout all the stages of life. It sets out ways to reduce risks, build resilience and dismantle the barriers that prevent people with mental health conditions from participating fully in society," said Guterres, WHO’s Secretary-General.

"I recommend it to governments, and mental health stakeholders, everywhere," Guterres further added.