UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for making mental health a global priority and urged action to promote universal quality mental health care. About 1 billion people are living with a mental health condition. But mental health is one of the most neglected aspects of health care.
Noting that anxiety and depression alone cost the global economy an estimated $1 trillion per year, he said. “Some countries have only two mental health workers per 100,000 people. The social and economic impact is profound.”
The UN chief stressed the need to strengthen the capacity of health services to provide quality care to those in need, especially young people.
He said that stigma and discrimination must be removed along with breaking down the barriers preventing people from seeking care and support.
Guterres also underscored the importance of preventing the root causes of mental health conditions, including violence and abuse, adding that the United Nations is committed to working with partners to promote mental well-being.
“As we mark World Mental Health Day, let us make this a global priority and act urgently so that everyone, everywhere can have access to quality mental health care,” he said.
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