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World Mental Health Day 2022: A global priority for all

October 10, 2022

Anxiety and depressive disorders rose by more than a quarter worldwide during the first year of the pandemic, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). Few of us would dispute that COVID-19 is continuing to take its toll on people’s mental health, almost three years since the virus first emerged. The impacts of the isolation, stress and worry people experienced, and the losses they suffered, are still being felt. At the same time, mental health services have been severely disrupted, making it harder to access treatment.

It's this growing international mental health crisis that has driven the theme for this year’s World Mental Health Day (Monday 10 October): Make mental health and wellbeing for all a global priority.

The World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH), which organises the annual campaign, has recognised that issues like long COVID and the challenges of adjusting to post-pandemic life are being compounded by problems such as global inflation and price rises, climate change, and wars. As well as us as individuals, these problems are preoccupying governments – and the WFMH is determined to keep mental health at the top of the agenda despite the huge pressure on attention, resources and funding.

If you want to lend your voice to the campaign, find out more about it, or take action, the WFMH has a campaign toolkit you can download here. The Mental Health Foundation also has a dedicated campaign page, with links to free online publications and resources such as its best mental health tips backed by research.

On its World Mental Health Day web page, the WHO calls for individuals, organisations, communities and governments to rekindle efforts to protect and improve mental health. A crucially important part of this is making a commitment to strengthen mental health care, through a community-based network of accessible, affordable and high quality support. This demands that investment continues to be made in developing the services and skills that remain in short supply.

“It’s vital that the endeavour to ensure that everyone can access the mental health care and treatment they need is prioritised by healthcare systems in every country,” says Nicola Smeeth, Clinical Lead at ieso. “World Mental Health Day gives us the opportunity to come together and be vocal about what needs to happen to make this a reality. At ieso, we play our part in achieving this vision all year round, by learning about the very best ways to deliver treatment to patients – and sharing what we know with other organisations and healthcare providers. This is the way we’ll close the gap.”

If you’re struggling to access treatment for anxiety or depression, online cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is designed to open mental health services up to more people who need them. Patients can log in from a smartphone, laptop or tablet – at home, at work, or wherever they are – and ‘speak’ with their therapist by typing back and forth. This allows more flexibility; appointments can be arranged at any time of the day or evening, to fit around other commitments. You can find out more about how online CBT from ieso works here.

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