WHO urges Kenya to support mental health programs

WHO urges Kenya to support mental health programs

Depression causes mental anguish and can impact on people's ability to carry out even the simplest everyday tasks, with sometimes devastating consequences for relationships with family and friends. If untreated, depression can be debilitating and even lead to suicide, which is the second leading cause of death among 15- to 29-year olds.

But do not panic-depression is something that can happen to anybody, it is not a sign of weakness, and more importantly: it is treatable, with talking therapies or antidepressant medication or a combination of these. "As per the National Mental Health Survey 2015-16 conducted by National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, 5.2 per cent of the Indian adult population suffers from depression in some form or other", he said. "People with depression can and do recover and talking to someone about how you are feeling could be the first step towards recovery".

Depression is ranked by World Health Organization as the single largest contributor to global morbidity and the estimated number of people living with depression increased by 18.4 per cent between 2005 and 2015.

The press release continued by stating that in many countries there is little support for those suffering from depression and other mental health issues.

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The WHO wants people to talk more openly about this condition, and this is timely given that it is one of the most common mental illnesses, yet often widely misunderstood.

He noted that the best way to help the depressed people is to speak to them.

"Research tells us that many other factors contribute to the onset of depression, including genetics, changes in hormone levels, medical conditions, stress, grief or hard living circumstances", he said.

Infectious diseases, antibiotic resistant bacterium and air pollution are just some of the major health concerns the World Health Organization has helped combat through research, government programs and collaborations for almost 70 years. A key distinction is also made between depression in people who have or do not have a history of manic episodes. The losses are incurred by households, employers and governments: for households, with absence from work affecting household income; for employers, with lower productivity of employees when at work and absence from work; and for governments, with higher health and welfare expenditures. PHCC Health Centers are the first point of contact for patients with common mental health problems like depression. "We should strive for early recognition of depression, provide treatment and help in preventing suicides", Dr Kelkar urged.

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