Focus on children's mental health, WHO urges African leaders

Lady Gaga co-writes new op-ed about suicide and mental health

The focus of this year's mental health day is on children and adolescents especially within the war-torn areas.

"And, under these circumstances, discuss whether the equivalent of a mental health levy would be a proportionate response, both in terms of changing behaviour on the part of the companies involved and in terms of providing a funding stream for the expanded services we all want to see".

Only 40 percent of adults who have a mental illness reported receiving any sort of service for their mental illness in the prior 12 months, according to Judith Bass, a professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

World Health Organization in a press statement released on Tuesday called for regular checks for symptoms of mental illnesses beginning at a young age.

"The stigma of mental illness is probably as big a problem as mental illness itself", said Patrick Corrigan, a professor of psychology at the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Around 4,500 people take their own lives each year in England and suicide remains the leading cause of death for men under 45, but most mental ill health can be identified by the age of 14.

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Doyle-Price, Minister for Mental Health, Inequalities and, now Suicide Prevention, said: "I understand how tragic, devastating and long-lasting the effect of suicide can be on families and communities".

"In the African region, it is estimated that 5 per cent of the population aged below 15 years, suffer from a mental disorder".

"Earlier this year, the WHO published the Global Mental Health Atlas, which provides information from 177 countries on progress towards achieving the plan's targets", Lady Gaga and Ghebreyesus wrote.

The World Federation for Mental Health notes that suicide and substance abuse numbers have been steadily rising, LGBTQ+ youth are battling loneliness and isolation, and young people still aren't getting the support and education they need to deal with mental illness. "There are multiple factors that determine the mental health issues face are much greater with the advent and proliferation of social media and challenges associated with its misuse among other issues".

"As a government, we have delineated our health system for easy appreciation of the roles required by all stakeholders in the sector".

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