‘Make Mental Health for All a Global Priority’, Says Secretary-General in International Day Message

Following is the text of UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ video message for World Health Day, observed today:

Nearly 1 billion people live with a mental health condition, but mental health remains one of the most neglected aspects of health care.

Some countries have only two mental health workers for every 100,000 people.  The social and economic repercussions are profound.  Anxiety and depression alone cost the global economy an estimated $1 trillion per year.

We must strengthen the capacity of health services to offer quality care to those in need, in particular young people.  This includes community-based services and integrating support for mental health into broader health and social care.

Investing in mental well-being means investing in healthy and prosperous communities.

We must also address stigma and discrimination — and break down the barriers that prevent people from seeking care and support.  And we must prevent the root causes of mental health conditions, including violence and abuse.

The United Nations is committed to working with partners to promote mental well-being.  As we mark World Mental Health Day, let us make it a global priority and act urgently so that everyone, everywhere has access to quality mental health care.

For information media. Not an official record.