Depression Is Now the Leading Cause of Illness and Disability Worldwide

Director General of the World Health Organization Margaret Chan speaks during the opening ceremony of the 9th Global Conference on Health Promotion in Shanghai

"Depression: let's talk" says WHO, as depression tops list of causes of ill health

According to the pressed released on Thursday, the pegged depression is a leading cause of ill health and disability all over the world.

This enhanced care is as simple as talk therapy, antidepressants or a combination of the two, according to WHO.

The WHO released this information ahead of World Health Day on April 7, 2017, "as a call for call for all countries to re-think their approaches to mental health and to treat it with the urgency that it deserves".

Military personnel have been promised a £3 million mental health service to ease the transition to civilian life as part of an upgrade of treatment for conditions ranging from depression to schizophrenia. To help break down this stigma, World Health Organization is launching a campaign called "Depression: let's talk". However, half of people suffering from depression don't get treatments they need to live healthy, productive lives.

"A better understanding of depression and how it can be treated, while essential, is just the beginning", said Dr. Shekhar Saxena, Director of the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse at WHO. "The continuing stigma associated with mental illness was the reason why we chose to name our campaign Depression: let's talk", said Dr Shekhar Saxena, Director of the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse at WHO.

"We urge the Government to rethink the Jobcentre's role from not only increasing employment, but also ensuring the quality of that employment, given that bad jobs can be more damaging to mental health than unemployment".

Investment in mental health makes economic sense. Households lose out financially when people can not work. In many countries, there is no, or very little, support available for people with mental health disorders. Governments have to pay higher health and welfare expenditures.

WHO identifies clear links between depression and other mental and physical health problems.

Depression is a common mental condition with symptoms such as persistent sadness or loneliness, a loss of interest in everyday activities and a lack of ability to perform routine tasks. And as the organization also noted, depression can also lead to other illnesses, including heart disease, cancer and diabetes, according to U.S. News and World Report.

According to mental health charities in the United Kingdom, mixed anxiety and depression is the most commonly diagnosed mental health problem in the country, with 7.8 per cent of the population meeting the criteria for the condition, which is believed to account for one fifth of all days taken of work.

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