World Health Day - April 2017

The World Health Day is held to mark WHO’s founding, and is seen as an opportunity by the organization to draw worldwide attention to a subject of major importance to global health each year. The WHO organizes international, regional and local events on the Day related to a particular theme.

World Health Day 2017 Theme: Depression, Let’s Talk

World Health Day 2017, celebrated on 7 April, aims to mobilize action on depression. This condition affects people of all ages, from all walks of life on Global. It impacts on people’s ability to carry out everyday tasks, with consequences for families, friends, and even communities, workplaces, and health care systems. At worst, depression can lead to self-inflicted injury and suicide.

According to WHO, depression is “persistent sadness and a loss of interest in activities that people normally enjoy, accompanied by an inability to carry out daily activities for two weeks or more.”

What causes depression?

The World Health Organization (WHO) says depression is often caused by a combination of physical, psychological, and social factors. These are:

  • A family history of depression
  • Poor nutrition
  • Having chronic physical illnesses like hypertension, diabetes, cancers, thyroid disorders and Parkinson disease
  • Repeated exposure to extreme stressors like war, conflict or natural disasters
  • Use of licit and illicit drugs
  • Rapid change in life situations like marriage, childbirth, loss of job or partner
  • Experiencing adversity and abuse in childhood like early loss of parent(s) or non-responsive and non-stimulating parenting
  • Long-term difficulties like financial problems, belonging to a minority group, and marital difficulties

What can you do if you think you are depressed?

  • Talk to someone you trust
  • Stay connected with family and friends
  • Seek professional help
  • Stick to regular eating and sleeping habits
  • Keep up with activities you used to enjoy
  • Accept that you might have depression

On World Health Day 2017, here are some suggestions from WHO to overcome depression:

  • Government needs to increase investment for people with mental health disorder.
  • Introduce improved support system and scale up programmes with mental health disorders
  • Better funding for research to facilitate better services
  • Trained human resources for better mental healthcare.

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