New Mental Health Report ‘a Road Map’ to Guide States in Improving Their Systems, Says Secretary-General

Following is the text of UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ video message on the launch of the World Mental Health Report 2022:  Transforming Mental Health for All, today:

We are living through a global mental health crisis.

Nearly a billion people around the world, including millions of children and young people, have a mental health condition.

Most of them lack access to treatment.

Services may be unavailable or unaffordable.  Stigma also prevents people from seeking help.

People with mental health conditions are at increased risk of physical and emotional abuse, denial of education and employment, and other human rights violations.

The costs, both human and financial, are huge.  Depression and anxiety alone cost the global economy an estimated $1 trillion per year.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has increased mental health problems, it has also led to a far greater understanding of the importance — and fragility — of good mental health.

Unfortunately, in most countries, mental health remains the most neglected area of health policy.

In response, the World Health Organization (WHO) is launching its World Mental Health Report:  “Transforming mental health for all”.

The report is a road map to guide countries in improving their mental health systems.

It highlights where improvement is needed and how it can be achieved, starting in childhood and continuing throughout all the stages of life.

It sets out ways to reduce risks, build resilience and dismantle the barriers that prevent people with mental health conditions from participating fully in society.

I congratulate the WHO on this timely report, and I recommend it to Governments, and mental health stakeholders, everywhere.

For information media. Not an official record.