Mental health is a crucial component that is directly linked to various development outcomes such as enhanced productivity and an improved quality of life.
Similarly, poor mental health conditions could affect the individuals capacity to engage in daily activities, which could potentially result in poor nutrition or poverty.
Therefore, it could be stated that health has significant impacts on ecological and economic sustainability.
Within that context, the 10th of October was designated as World Mental Health Day, to serve as a reminder to diligently work towards improving the quality of national mental health services, as well as empower individuals to prioritize their own mental health and support those around them who may be suffering.
As stated by the UN Secretary-General : “...the COVID-19 pandemic is taking a terrible toll on people’s mental health. Millions of people face grief over lost family members and friends. Many more are anxious over unemployment and fearful of the future. Older people may experience isolation and loneliness, while children and adolescents may feel alienated and distressed. Without determined action, the mental health impact may last far longer than the pandemic itself.”
On World Mental Health Day, it is necessary to strengthen our response by encouraging collaborative action between governments, civil society and individuals, to create innovative solutions to confront the major challenges regarding global mental health, including the social and economic global consequences, as well as prioritizing mental health in development agendas and frameworks.
The Geneva Institute for Human Rights, while celebrating World Mental Health Day, stresses on the necessity of improving the quality of mental health services, and urges all governments to actively support all education and advocacy initiatives aimed at raising awareness on mental disorders, as well as building local capacity for public mental health research and the integration of mental health services in primary health care.
Moreover, the Institute expresses concern for those living in isolation, health care workers, and students, as well as those with pre-existing mental health issues, who have been highly affected by the unprecedented effects of the covid-19 pandemic.
Acknowledging the current global contexts, it is crucial to highlight the important role of mental health by actively combatting the stigmatization and discrimination associated with mental health, and subsequently ensuring the achievement of global development goals.