It’s estimated that 4.4 percent of the world’s population is struggling with depression—that’s over 322 million people. And unfortunately, the rate of common mental disorders, such as depression, has increased in recent years especially in lower-income countries. Today the World Health Organization (WHO) is shining a light on this mental health crisis with their “Depression: Let’s Talk” campaign.
What is World Health Day?
For decades, WHO has celebrated April 7th (the day their constitution came into force in 1948) as World Health Day. This day spreads awareness about world health conditions. In the past, World Health Day shined a spotlight on diabetes and high blood pressure.
This year, WHO has chosen depression for their health awareness campaign. And since the rate of depression has increased by nearly 20 percent in just one decade, it’s a timely subject matter. For the “Depression: Let’s Talk” campaign, WHO offices across the world will be holding discussions and panels about depression. The campaign also calls for increased investment in this illness, as on average just three percent of government health budgets are invested in mental health.
Depression Facts and Figures
WHO is also using this campaign to spread awareness about its latest study on global depression. The WHO study shows that the Americas have about 48.16 million people suffering from depression. But nearly half of the people in the world suffering from depression live in the South-East Asia region (85.67 million) and the Western Pacific region (66.21 million). In every world region, women are more likely to be depressed than men. And depression is more likely to affect older people between the ages of 55 and 74.
Let’s Talk About Depression
For World Health Day, it’s important that we do our part to educate our loved ones and ourselves on the dangers of depression. For more information, check out the helpful tips listed below.
- Try mindful reflection. Take stock of your emotions and thoughts. Do you feel fine or do you feel you could benefit from talking to someone? There is no shame in reaching out for help.
- Talk to a professional. Just as with a physical checkup, it’s important that each of us have regular mental health checkups. Talking to someone helps you feel better, whether you feel depressed or not.
- Talk to others about depression. WHO is using the #LetsTalk on social media to spread the word about depression. You can do the same! You can find more information on Twitter.
Bonus. If you are looking for more Mindful advice on depression, check out this article from psychologist Dina Zeckhausen.