- World Health Day is observed on
April 7th to raise awareness on health and well-being.
- The World Health Organization has
declared 'Depression' as the theme for this year's World Health Day.
- Depression is a mental disorder
which is curable and should not be considered as weakness.
The World Health
Day is an annual event held on April 7th to raise awareness on a specific
health topic. This year, the focus is on depression, a matter of concern to people all over the world. The day marks the anniversary
of the founding of the World Health Organization (WHO). The theme of the World
Health Day 2017 is "Depression: Let's Talk."
Depression: Let's Talk
is a mental disorder, which is
one of the leading causes of illness
and disability worldwide. According to the WHO, depression is defined as an
illness characterized by persistent sadness and a loss of interest in
activities that one normally enjoys, accompanied by an inability to carry out
for at least two weeks.
‘The theme for World Health Day 2017 is “Depression: Let's Talk”’
Depression is more prevalent in urban areas than rural areas. Some of the causes
of depression are stress, time pressure, work pressure, illness and
than 300 million people are living with depression. The number of people with
depression has increased by 18% between 2005 and 2015. People suffering from
depression do not access mental health treatment due to
lack of support and fear of stigma. Thus, the goal of the theme "Depression:
Let's talk" is to get people with depression to
Chan, WHO Director-General, said, "These new figures are a wake-up call for all
countries to re-think their approaches to mental health and to treat it with
the urgency that it deserves."
"One of the
first steps is to address issues around prejudice and discrimination. 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 and Substance Abuse at WHO.
living with depression, talking to a person they trust is often the first step
towards treatment and recovery."
depression find it difficult to come forward for help, and people around them
also fail to recognize it. The WHO wants to create awareness about depression
and for those with depression, they are not alone, many others are also
struggling with the same condition.
Support for People
In the past ten
years, the number of cases of depression has surged by nearly 20%. To reduce
the global prevalence of depression, WHO has come up with some suggestions
Finances for Mental Health
- Increase investment for people
with mental health disorder
- Scale up programs that provide
treatment for depression and other mental disorders
- Funds for research on mental
health to facilitate better services
- Trained health workers for better
mental health care
countries, there is little or no support available for
people with depression. About 50% of the people living in developed countries
do not get treatment for depression. On an average, only 3% of government
health budget is invested in mental health.
investment in mental health can lead to treatment for depression and anxiety
which in turn can improve health and the ability to
work. Mental illness remains a taboo because people are reluctant to seek help
for psychiatric illnesses.
Associated with Depression
linked to other non-communicable diseases and disorders. Depression can
increase the risk of substance abuse
and diseases such as heart disease
and diabetes. It is also an important risk factor
for suicide. People with depression have some of the symptoms like change in appetite,
reduced concentration, sleeping less or more, fatigue, feelings of guilt and
hopelessness and thoughts of self-harm. Treatment for depression involves talk
therapy or antidepressant
medication or a combination
of the two.
Dr Saxena, said
"A better understanding of depression and how it can be treated, while
essential, is just the beginning. What needs to follow is sustained scale-up of
mental health services accessible to everyone, even the most remote populations
in the world."
Depression in India
have enough psychiatrists to treat people with depression, especially in rural
areas. Urbanization has also increased the prevalence of depression in the
country. From rural areas, people have moved to the cities, which has changed
their lifestyle. Physical activity has reduced, and work pressure and stress
increased, contributing to depression.
Facts on Depression
Tips to Deal
- Depression has been predicted to become a top health hazard
- More than five crore Indians, a
gross 4.5% of the population suffers from depression
- Women are more
likely to suffer from depression than men
- One out of 4 children between the
ages of 13 and 15 years suffer from depression
- Urbanization has increased
depression by 20%
- Seek professional help by
consulting a health care worker or a doctor.
- Exercise regularly
- Stay connected with loved ones
- Restrict alcohol and refrain from
- Eat healthy by avoiding junk foods
- Sleep for at least 7 hours
- Handouts on depression - (http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2017/world-health-day/en/)
- "Depression: let's talk" says WHO, as depression tops list of causes of ill health - (http://www.who.int/campaigns/world-health-day/2017/handouts-depression/en/)
- World Health Day 2017 - (http://www.searo.who.int/india/mediacentre/events/world_health_day/whd_2017/en/)