One in eight people globally are living with mental health conditions and an increasing number of young people are affected by mental health issues
Every year on October 10, the World Mental Health Day is observed across the globe. This day aims to raise awareness on mental health issues and provide support for people. We now know that mental health plays an important role in achieving global development goals, however people with mental conditions often experience severe human rights violations, discrimination and stigma.
These problems are increasing worldwide. There has been a 13% rise in mental health conditions and substance use disorders in the last decade, and around 20% of children and adolescent have a mental health condition, with suicide the second leading cause of death among 15 to 29-year-olds.
Many mental health conditions can be treated effectively at relatively low cost, yet the gap between people needing care and those with access to care remains substantial, and effective treatment coverage extremely low.
As WHO points out, World Mental Health Day 2023 is an opportunity for people and communities to unite behind the theme ‘Mental health is a universal human right’ to improve knowledge, raise awareness and drive actions that promote and protect everyone’s mental health as a universal right.
Everyone, whoever and wherever they are, has a right to the highest attainable standard of mental health. This includes the right to be protected from mental health risks, the right to available, accessible, acceptable, and good quality care, and the right to liberty, independence and inclusion in the community.
Having a mental health condition should never be a reason to deprive a person of their human rights or to exclude them from decisions about their own health. Yet all over the world, people with mental health conditions continue to experience a wide range of human rights violations. Many are excluded from community life and discriminated against, while many more cannot access the mental health care they need or can only access care that violates their human rights.
It is time to ensure that mental health is valued, promoted, and protected, and that urgent action is taken so that everyone can access the quality mental health care they need.
Lastly, prevention is one of the keys to effective management of mental health conditions. It is essential, for example, to identify and understand the risk factors that influence the psychological well-being of the population. In this regard, we invite you to read the analysis of these risk factors in a country like Chile, and the resulting proposals based on a mental health promotion perspective.