New information reveals that over 300 million people worldwide are living with depression, and only half of them are getting the treatment they need.
New information from the World Health Organization (WHO) reveals that over 300 million people worldwide are living with depression, and only half of them are getting the treatment they need.
WHO released these numbers in the run-up to World Health Day on April 7, as part of the yearlong campaign “Depression: let’s talk.” According to WHO, the number of people living with depression worldwide increased by more than 18 percent between 2005 and 2015.
The organization is trying to bring more awareness to a topic many are afraid of publicizing about themselves.
“The continuing stigma associated with mental illness was the reason why we decided to name our campaign 'Depression: let’s talk,'” Shekhar Saxena M.D., director of the department of mental health and substance abuse at WHO, said in a statement. “For someone living with depression, talking to a person they trust is often the first step towards treatment and recovery.”
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one in eight American women will struggle with clinical depression in her lifetime. Recommended treatments include a mix of antidepressants and talk therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) are also popular.
WHO is calling for countries to invest more in mental health treatment, and increase the support available for people with depression. “These new figures are a wake-up call for all countries to re-think their approaches to mental health and to treat it with the urgency that it deserves," Margaret Chan M.D., WHO Director-General, said in a statement.