'One-fourth mental illness due to workplace depression'


Although our own medical officers have threatened to go strike again, tomorrow April 7, is World Health Day with this year's theme being, "Depression: let's talk". The director of WHO's department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, Shekhar Saxena, says depression is behind a global epidemic of death by suicide.

"Depression affects people of all ages and walks of life".

Depression is a common mental illness characterised by persistent sadness and a loss of interest in activities that people normally enjoy. Acharya further said that at worst, depression could lead to self inflected injuries and suicide. Yet, depression can be prevented and treated.

The "Depression: let's talk" campaign encourages nations to expand access to quality mental health care, identify research gaps and bring depression into the spotlight for people who may not even realize they have it or other mental health disorders. "Talking with people you trust can be a first step towards recovery from depression", Acharya added.

He estimated 400,000 Cambodian adults have depression, in line with the global figure of 300 million people, or about four percent of the world's population. That is why, working with provinces and territories, we have committed $5 billion over the next ten years to support mental health initiatives, so that more Canadians can get the help they need.

World Health Assembly was held first time in the year 1948 in Geneva, Switzerland by the WHO where it was chose to commemorate the World Health Day annually on April 7.

That's especially because depression can lead to suicide. Each year, the World Health Organisation (WHO) selects a theme highlighting a particular priority area of public health.

The WHO defines health as "a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity". In poorer countries, fewer than 10% of people with depression may receive adequate treatment.

More often than not, people with depression are stereotyped in the same way.

"The African Region has a critical shortage of qualified professionals for mental health, with just one psychiatrist per one million people and a similar number of psychologists".

Depression is the leading cause of ill health and disability worldwide. Both approaches can be provided by non-specialist health-workers, following a short course of training and using WHO's mental health-gap action programme and intervention guide. But despite it being so commonplace, not many of us know how to support a friend, family member or loved one who is suffering from depression.