In an effort to raise awareness for mental health, the World Health Organization (WHO) has recognized Oct. 10 as World Mental Health Day around the world for the last 29 years.
Experts say there has been lots of progress made towards ending the stigma around mental illnesses, but there is still a long way to go.
“There is no health without mental health,” said Tarun Dua, head of the Mental Health and Addictions Department with WHO.
Two decades ago, WHO launched a Mental Health Atlas that shows the status of mental health services in every area of the world to address the gap in services for those in need.
A ‘free environment’: Championing peer support programs on World Mental Health Day
In the recently released 2020 atlas, it shows that mental health only takes up two per cent of the health budget across the world and only one in four people are receiving the mental health treatment that they need while dealing with stigma.
“People with mental health conditions, poor mental health, they’re also impacted by the stigma, discrimination, human rights abuses,” said Dua.
Carey Price seeking help signals changing narrative around mental health
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly one billion people in the world were clinically diagnosed with a mental health disorder, and the numbers continue to climb.
Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) statistics show that for the first three months of this year, they saw a 35 per cent increase in clients for all of their mental health services.
“The volume of individuals maybe who never would have before are now starting to ask for help with their mental health,” said SHA Mental Health and Addictions Co-Director Zoe Teed-McKay.
Children hit hard by COVID-19 need mental health support, UN report warns
According to WHO, the motto surrounding the day is, “Mental health care for all — let’s make mental health a reality for everybody.”
“Quite successful these days, the anti-stigma campaigns that have led us to a day like World Mental Health Day by each and every action of raising awareness,” said Teed-McKay.
If you, or someone you know, is in need of mental health assistance, you can contact the SHA’s mental health services at 306-655-7777.
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.