Mental Health Statistics

Learn how I beat Depression

Mental health problems can affect absolutely anyone, at any age and at any time. It does not matter whether you are male or female, married or single, working or not working, homeless or living mortgage free, no one is immune. This is something that it would appear many people forget when we consider the stigma and ignorance that still surrounds mental health in general.

The WHO doesn’t differentiate between physical and mental health when discussing health. They define health as “A state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”.

Specifically, they define mental health as “a state of well being in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community”.

Unfortunately mental health problems are common and widespread. Indeed depression is ranked as the leading cause of disability on a global basis affecting around 120 million people worldwide.

It is believed that around a quarter of the population will suffer from a some kind of mental health problem in any one year, and this can range from mild anxiety and depression to more serious mental health disorders such as schizophrenia and other forms of dementia.

Age is no barrier either, according to WHO statistics, around 20 percent of children and young people across the world have mental health problems and half of these find their symptoms beginning before the age of 14.

There is also a connection between the level of mental health problems and the level of mental health support. Those countries that have the highest number of young people with mental health problems also have the lowest level of mental health resources.

Indeed the level of mental health problems across the world could be much higher than the official statistics suggest as not everyone with a mental health problem will actually seek help for it.

Untreated mental health problems can have tragic consequences; nearly one million people commit suicide every single year with nearly 90 percent of those million coming from low or middle income countries and more than half of them between the ages of 15 and 44. This is unacceptable.

Until we remove the stigma surrounding mental health, educate the public about mental health issues and put in place adequate resources to combat mental health problems, we cannot put an end to the terrible suffering and isolation experienced by people with mental health problems. Each and every one of us is at risk.

Learn how I beat Depression

1 Comment

  1. Wellescent Health Blog
    Posted November 16, 2009 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    The statistics on depression are disheartening given that 50% of people don’t seek help for their condition and instead suffer alone when, in many cases, there are possible solutions.

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