On World Mental Health Day, the World Health Organisation is calling on Member States in the South-East Asia Region to intensify action to achieve access for all to quality mental healthcare, in line with the recently adopted Paro Declaration on universal access to people-centred mental healthcare and services.
World Mental Health Day is observed every year on 10 October to raise awareness about mental health and well-being around the world.
The theme for World Mental Health Day 2022 is "Make mental health for all a global priority", as announced by the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH). The day was first observed on 10 October, 1992, as an annual activity of the organisation.
WHO's founding constitution believed there is no health without mental health, reads a WHO report.
According to WHO, around 1 in 8 people lived with a mental health condition globally before the Covid-19 pandemic. In the South-East Asia Region, an estimated 1 in 7 people lived with a mental health condition, and in countries where data are available, the treatment gap ranged from 70–95%.
Cases of major depressive disorder are estimated to have increased by more than 27% globally, and cases of anxiety disorders by more than 25%, adding to the 1 billion people who were already living with a mental disorder, the WHO data shows.
Countries of the South-East Asia region of WHO came together in September, 2022 and committed to take bold, decisive action to accelerate pre-pandemic progress, unanimously adopting the Paro Declaration.
The Paro Declaration aims to ensure that all people in the region can access quality mental health care, close to where they live, without financial hardship.
The declaration also recognises that mental health is a key determinant of social and economic development, an integral part of general health and well-being and aims to help all countries of the region build on and accelerate longstanding efforts to implement equitable mental health policies, laws, programmes and services.