April 24, 2017

Mental Health Group calls for improved support networks, awareness on mental health

09 April 2017, 02:53 | Elizabeth Houston

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"A better understanding of what it is, and how it can be prevented and treated, will help reduce the stigma around it and encourage people to seek help".

GLOBAL communities will observe World Health Day on Friday, April 7, with focus on the theme, "Depression, Let's Talk". The World Health Day 2017 Theme on 7th April is Depression: Let's Talk. Depression can lead to suicide, which is the second leading cause of death in 15 - 29-year- olds globally. "Effective treatment is available through talking therapies and antidepressant medications, or a combination of both".

Dr Fikri, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean, says, "Despite common misperceptions, depression is not a sign of weakness but stigma and discrimination are preventing people from seeking the care they need".

"Many people still don't understand what depression is, and that can make it hard to be open about how you're feeling and ask for help".

The first step towards treatment and recovery is often talking to a person you trust.

Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, and a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease, according to WHO. According to the reports of World Health Organization, around 322 million are living with depression across the globe, and the number is increased by 18% (between 2005 and 2015) to 20% (present). Suicide claims the lives of more than 500 people every day in the WHO's Western Pacific region.

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Kuwait and many other Arab countries have a high prevalence rate of the illness due to family and social problems, coupled with unjustifiable price hikes and the accelerated use of information technologies including smartphones and social media that made people solitary creatures, he explained.

He said depression has a major impact on the daily lives of individuals, some of who are driven to commit suicide. "On average, just 3per cent of government health budgets is invested in mental health, varying from less than 1 per cent in low-income countries to 5per cent in high-income countries", states the WHO.

"The roles played by family members, friends and colleagues are also important to help those living in depression". Not only is their health affected but the economy suffers because they are not able to work.

On World Health Day, WHO wants to create the awareness about depression among the people.

Like clinical depression, it is a health condition characterised by feelings of unhappiness and hopelessness, as well as other psychological and physical symptoms such as fatigue.

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