To mark the anniversary of the founding of the World Health Organization (WHO), World Health Day, a global health campaign celebrated April 7, is meant to bring awareness to a specific health topic of worldwide concern.

The Universal Theme of Depression

The theme of 2017’s World Health Day is depression, which affects people from all walks of life. According to statistics from WHO, more than 300 million people are affected by depression worldwide. In the U.S. alone, depression is one of the most common mental disorders, affecting around 15.7 million adults aged 18 or older. As many as two out of 100 young children and eight out of 100 teens may have serious depression.

Although there are known effective treatments for depression, fewer than half of those affected in the world receive them due to lack of resources, lack of trained health-care providers, social stigma associated with mental disorders, and inaccurate assessment. In countries of all income levels, people who are depressed are often not correctly diagnosed, and others who do not have the disorder are often misdiagnosed and prescribed antidepressants.

Yet, through psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, proper medication, exercise and lifestyle changes, such as diet and meditation, serious depression is a treatable illness.

Since its inception in 1950, World Health Day has brought to light important health issues such as mental health, maternal and childcare, and climate change. The celebration is marked by activities that extend beyond the day itself and it serves as an opportunity to focus worldwide attention on important aspects of global health.

How to Mobilize on World Health Day

Participating in events and activities, both in-person and online, are ways of stimulating discussion and action. WHO’s “Depression: Let’s Talk” campaign allows you to dialog about activities that you’re planning through an online app. On it, you can also create your own campaign post by choosing one of the campaign visuals and messages and sharing with your own network.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

About the author

Justine Amodeo is a contributing editor to Bodhi Tree and the editor of Pacific Coast Magazine and Montagemagazine.com. She holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of California, Irvine, and has been a student of Kashmir Shaivism and the Feminine Wisdom Tradition work of Nisha Bhairavi for many years.