World Mental Health Day 2021

Mental health has come a long way since 1992 when the World Federation of Mental Health (WFMH) started the initiative for World Mental Health Day.

WFMH was founded in 1948 to advance, among all people and nations, the prevention of mental and emotional disorders, the proper treatment and care of those with such disorders, and the promotion of mental health.

Our self-awareness and sensitivity towards mental health have changed things for the better over last years. Our language surrounding mental well-being has improved as the words we use are kinder and less stigmatising. We have learned a lot, but there is still so much more we can do to evolve and grow as a society.

After all, there is no health without mental health!

Every year, 10th of October is celebrated as a World Mental Health Day to advocate agains stigma around mental health issues like depression, anxiety, stress, burnout, mood disorder and other mental illness, to raise awareness for importance of mental health around the globe and to mobilise resources in support of better mental well-being for all.

Mental health in today’s world

  • 970 million people worldwide have a mental health or substance abuse disorder.
  • Anxiety is the most common mental illness in the world, affecting 284 million people.
  • In Europe, 84 million people (1 out of 6) are diagnosed with mental health issues.
  • The overall cost of mental health amounts to EUR 600 billion, or 4% of the total EU GDP.
  • 11,9 percent of all work absences in 2019 in Germany were due to mental health problems, which, the AOK study’s note, is the first time that “mental illnesses have slipped into second place… ahead of respiratory illnesses.

Source: Our World in Data – Mental Health, 2018, EU Parliament, Mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic, iamexpat.de – Sick days due to mental health rose significantly in Germany in 2019

Anxiety, depression and loneliness are on the rise since the pandemic started and many of those health issues are sometimes taken lightly and often ignored.

Mental well-being at work is especially important and sometimes still very sensitive topic for many companies.

”The high economic impact of mental health costs is mainly due to the high number of mental health cases among the working-age population, with a prevalence of mental disorders in the working age range (20-64) of more than 15%. Moreover, 1 out of 5 people living in the OECD countries at any given time in their life will be experiencing mental health distress.”

Dr Emily Hewlett: Mental ill-health: economic costs and opportunities

Thus, it is even more important to educate your employees and made them aware about importance of mental health, plus encourage them to talk openly about the topic.

Mental Health in an Unequal World

The theme for 2021 Global Mental Health Day is ”Mental Health in an Unequal World”.

For those of us experiencing mental issues, it often feels like living in an unequal world filled with stigma, lack of support or empathy, discrimination, limited access to housing, employment and welfare. Access to mental health support is too often determined by where we live or who we are. It shouldn’t be like this and we all need to do better to make mental health care more accessible for all.

Things are slowly starting to change. As more and more people talk about their struggles with mental health, the stigma around depression, anxiety, loneliness and other mental health conditions is slowly dissolving.

But there is still a long way to go. People living with severe mental illness still have a shorter life expectancy than others. Black people are still four times more likely than their white counterparts to be sectioned. LGBT+ people are at more risk of suicidal behaviour and self-harm than non-LGBT+ people.

Are you and your company doing enough to support mental well-being at work?

Some of the best ways to prevent and treat mental health disorder is therapy, counseling, and mindfulness based methods like meditation and breathing techniques. Often listening to someone’s problems without judging them will go a long way. Providing your workforce with a structured resources to build employee resilience will reduce their stress and improve their mental well-being.

Investing in mental health for employees has a high ROI: For every 1€ invested in scaled-up treatment for common mental disorders such as depression and anxiety, there is a return of 5€ in improved health and productivity.

Source:Deloitte, Mental health and employers, 2020

Mental health cannot be ignored any longer and as our understanding of mental health grows, we grow along with it.

About Wellsome:

Wellsome brings mental health to a modern workplace. We create digital evidence-based well-being resources and provide every employee with an easy access to mental health which combines prevention, prediction and treatment.

Our solution combines the WHO well-being assessment, self help well-being kit, daily well-being learning content, and access to licensed counselors for personalized mental health support.

Learn more about Wellsome by scheduling a call to find out what we can do for your team.