News Worms
News Worms


No step too small in helping workers cope with depression

No step too small in helping workers cope with depression

On the 7 of April every year, the world gets together to celebrate the World Health Day.

Suicide is the second-largest cause of death for people between the ages of 15 to 29.

"It is against this backdrop we have to galvanise help, encourage people to talk about the way they feel, because to be depressed is not a crime".

Yet, fewer than half of the people suffering from depression are receiving the treatment they need to live healthy lives.

The WHO noted that at a global level, over 300 million people are estimated to suffer from depression, equivalent to 4.4 per cent of the world's population and almost that number again suffers from a range of anxiety disorders. In many countries, there is no, or very little, support available for people with mental health disorders. The World Health Organisation in its new global health estimates on depression for 2015 said while over five crore Indians suffered from depression, over three crore others suffered from anxiety disorders.

The risk of suicide in people with depression is 25 times higher than in people without mental disorders, the study revealed.

"Whether it is a depressive disorder or clinical depression, it is good to seek medical help because depression affects the persons and those he or she interact with". Every US$ 1 invested in scaling up treatment for depression and anxiety leads to a return of US$ 4 in better health and ability to work. Even in high-income countries, almost 50% of depressed people do not get treatment.

He, therefore, called for urgent need for the government to create more awareness on how to discourage the trend, prevent and treat those affected by the mental health condition. "Please share them with your friends and families and join us in a national conversation on mental health in the weeks ahead".

Yim Sobotra, the head of mental health and substance abuse at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital, said a person with depression can be identified by symptoms such as loss of interest or pleasure in life, decreased energy, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, hopelessness, insomnia and a lack of appetite. Both approaches can be provided by non-specialist health-workers, following a short course of training and using WHO's mental health-gap action programme and intervention guide.

According to the World Health Organization report, depressive disorders and anxiety disorders are two main diagnostic categories of common mental disorders that are highly prevalent in the population.

Dr Shin Young-soo is regional director for the Western Pacific of the World Health Organisation.

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