World Health Day 2017
“Depression: let’s talk”
April 7 is #WorldHealthDay, a day that is celebrated every year (on April 7) to mark the anniversary of the founding of the World Health Organisation. The theme of this years World Health Day campaign is Depression.
Depression affects people of all ages, from all walks of life, in all countries. It causes mental anguish and impacts on people’s ability to carry out even the simplest everyday tasks, with sometimes devastating consequences for relationships with family and friends and the ability to earn a living. At worst, depression can lead to suicide, now the biggest killer of teenage girls (15-19 years) worldwide and the second leading cause of death among 15-29-year-olds.
In a blog piece published earlier in the year, Suicide & Adolescent Girls, Commissioner Suzanne Petroni wrote on this surprisingly changing landscape of depression, suicide and adolescents.
Adolescents, no matter where they live, face a host of challenges as they navigate the rocky waters between childhood and adulthood. During adolescence, both boys and girls experience rapid physical growth and changes, accompanied by shifts in cognitive and emotional development. At the same time, environmental factors, including influences from family, peer groups, schools, communities and societal expectations more broadly, can work to either support or hinder young people’s wellbeing.
Yet, depression can be prevented and treated. A better understanding of what depression is, and how it can be prevented and treated, will help reduce the stigma associated with the condition, and lead to more people seeking help.
According to the latest estimates from WHO, more than 300 million people are now living with depression, an increase of more than 18% between 2005 and 2015. Lack of support for people with mental disorders, coupled with a fear of stigma, prevent many from accessing the treatment they need to live healthy, productive lives.
The overall goal of the “Depression – let’s talk” campaign is that more people with depression, everywhere in the world, both seek and get help.
This short video, ‘Let’s talk about depression – focus on adolescents and young adults’ has been produced as part of WHO’s “Depression: let’s talk” campaign and highlights some of the symptoms of depression and the importance of talking as the first step towards getting help.
WHO have developed a set campaign materials for use in “Depression: let’s talk” campaign activities and beyond, and include: