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World Mental Health Day | Increasing Investment in Mental Health

writtenByWritten by: Leah McCabe
Leah McCabe

Leah McCabe

Leah likes writing about health and science subjects. Through her writing she hopes to help people of all backgrounds have equal access to information and quality healthcare.

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October 9, 2020 Read Time - 7 minutes

World Mental Health Day | Increasing Investment in Mental Health

Mental health struggles have become an increasing problem across the world for the last couple of decades. The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered an unprecedented global mental health crisis.

Globally, more than 70% of people with mental illness receive no formal treatment from health care professionals. According to the National Library of Medicine, the four main reasons people don’t seek care are:

  • Lack of knowledge to identify features of mental illnesses
  • Ignorance about how to access treatment
  • Prejudice against people who have mental illness
  • Expectation of discrimination against people diagnosed with mental illness

In this article, we’ll talk about World Mental Health Day and provide necessary information to address the above points, regarding when, where, and how to get mental health treatment, as well as how to continue to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health conditions.


Related: COVD-19 Mental Health Center


What is World Mental Health Day and When is it?

World Mental Health Day has been held on October 10 every year since 1992.

The goal is to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world, give mental health providers a chance to talk about their work, and mobilize efforts in support of mental health. 


Read: Online Mental Health Services


This Year’s Theme

This year’s World Mental Health Day theme is Increased Investment in Mental Health.

Even before the pandemic, millions of people across the world lacked access to affordable mental health care. COVID-19 has further decreased that access for many people.

Increased investment in mental health could save lives. Somebody in the world dies by suicide every 40 seconds. That’s more than 800,000 deaths per year that could potentially be prevented with proper access to mental health care. 


Read: Symptoms of Suicidal Depression and How to Spot Suicidal Behavior


Evidence shows that mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety are 100% treatable.

In addition to preventing needless deaths, increased access to mental health improves the global economy.

Between 2010 and 2030, mental health disorders could cost the world economy up to $16 trillion. Investing in mental health services now could actually save money in the long run.

Reducing Mental Health Stigma | A Look at the Numbers

If you’re experiencing mental illness and are putting off seeking help because of stigma, know you’re not alone and there’s nothing to be ashamed of.

In 2017, about 792 million people around the world were estimated to have a mental health disorder. That’s about one in ten people.

Also in 2017, approximately 46.6 million American adults were thought to have a mental illness. That’s about one in five American adults. 

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness, affecting around 284 million people around the world and around 40 million adults in the United States alone.


Read: Can You Buy Anxiety Medication Online?


Depression is the next most common mental illness, affecting 17.3 million American adults, nearly 2 million American children, and a total of 264 million people around the world. 

With this many people affected by mental illness it’s time to put stigma behind us so those suffering can get the help they need.

If you’re suffering from a mental illness, you’re not alone. There are millions of people around the world struggling just like you. Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of and is actually completely normal.

No one feels ashamed when they get a cold or the flu. If we all work together to continue to de-stigmatize mental illness there’s no reason why we can’t approach seeking and receiving help in the same way we do physical ailments.

COVID’s Impact on Mental Health

In a mid-July poll, more than half of adults in the United States (53%) reported a negative impact on their mental health due to stress and worry from the coronavirus. These numbers are up, in March, only 32% of people reported a negative impact. 

People who already struggle with their mental health are experiencing increased symptoms, while people who’ve never struggled with their mental health before are now dealing with difficulties.

It’s harder than ever for people to get help, especially when millions of people have lost their jobs, and health insurance is heavily tied to employment in the United States. 


Read: Doctors for Patients Without Insurance


Where to Get Mental Health Help

If you need mental health help, there are lots of places you can turn.

MentalHealth.gov is a handy starting point. If you have health insurance, your insurance provider can help you find mental health services that are covered through your plan. If you don’t have insurance and can’t afford help, you can Google “free mental health help near me” to discover local resources.

You can also utilize online therapists for convenient and affordable online therapy.

Additionally, online doctors and psychiatrists can diagnose mental health conditions and even prescribe necessary medications not classified as controlled substances.


Read: Top Therapy Apps of 2020


If you or someone you know if considering harming themselves or committing suicide and needs help now, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-8255. 

Remember, all evidence shows that mental health conditions are treatable. Whether it’s via lifestyle changes, therapy, medication or a combination of these, treatments for mental health conditions work.

It’s also true that the sooner mental health treatment begins the better the recovery path is.

There is plenty of help available – all you have to do is reach out. 

Get Mental Health Treatment Online

If you’d like to talk a doctor online about you options for mental health treatment you can book an appointment here. The doctor can provide, light counseling, prescribe necessary medications (such as antidepressants) that are not classified as a controlled substance, and also refer you to a mental health specialist.

How to Give Help

You can find an excellent list of ways to help others who are struggling with mental illness on MentalHealth.gov. Here are a few quick tips:

  • Find out if they’re getting help. If not, help them find the resources they need
  • Ask questions, listen to them, and be supportive
  • Offer to help with everyday tasks like cooking or cleaning
  • Treat them with empathy, compassion, and respect
  • Express your support and concern

Get Involved in World Mental Health Day 

Starting at 10 am EST on Saturday, October 10, 2020, the Big Event for Mental Health will be streaming across all the major social media channels (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn,  and TikTok). 

This 3-hour event will feature world leaders, celebrity guests, mental health experts, and WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, talking about how we can improve our own mental health and ensure that everybody around the world has access to quality mental health care. 

Another great way to get involved is to spread the word on all your social media platforms about World Mental Health Day and the Big Event for Mental Health. The more people who are informed about this event, the better. 


Read More About Mental Health

Sources

World Federation of Mental Health. World Mental Health Day 2020. Accessed on October 2, 2020 at https://wfmh.global/world-mental-health-day-2020/

National Institute of Mental Health. Mental Illness. Accessed on October 2, 2020 at https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/mental-illness.shtml

Our World in Data. Mental Health. Accessed on October 2, 2020 at https://ourworldindata.org/mental-health

MentalHealth.gov. For Friends and Family Members. Accessed on October 2, 2020 at https://www.mentalhealth.gov/talk/friends-family-members

Most PlushCare articles are reviewed by M.D.s, Ph.Ds, N.P.s, nutritionists and other healthcare professionals. Click here to learn more and meet some of the professionals behind our blog. The PlushCare blog, or any linked materials are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment. For more information click here.

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