World Health Organization calls on governments to boost funds for mental health


Posted at Oct 09 2020 04:45 PM

World Health Organization calls on governments to boost funds for mental health 1
A Parañaque City health officer contacts a COVID-19-positive patient under quarantine to check on their mental health as part of the city's "Let's H.E.A.L. (Help, Encourage, Accept, Love) as One Parañaque" program on September 3, 2020. The patients under isolation and recovered patients for reintegration can also communicate with the city program's hotlines for counseling to help process mental stresses of being a COVID-19 patient. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The World Health Organization has launched a global social media challenge calling for greater investment in mental health.

Dubbed #MoveforMentalHealth, the campaign urges the public to post videos of things they do in support of their mental well-being such as dancing, walking or cooking.

“As we continue to live through a global pandemic, we need movement on mental health, perhaps more than we have ever needed it before," WHO director-general Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement Wednesday.

"We need to move for our own mental health, the mental health of our families, friends and colleagues, and more importantly, so that there is a massive increase in investment for mental health services at national and international levels." 

The UN health agency said mental health services were overburdened and under-resourced, with countries only spending 2 percent of their health budget.

International development assistance for mental health has also never exceeded 1 percent of all development assistance for health, it added.

Worldwide, close to 1 billion people have mental disorder and those with severe mental disorders tend to die 10 to 20 years earlier than the general population.

The WHO, in collaboration with United for Global Mental Health and the World Federation for Mental Health, had also sought support from social media platforms Facebook, Instagram and Facebook to help "kickstart broader conversations about mental health, and the importance of investment."

On World Mental Health Day on Oct. 10, WHO will launch a digital stress management guide on the Whatsapp chat platform.

Messenger will also be launching a new sticker pack to facilitate conversations around mental health.