ABOUT THE CAMPAIGN
World Mental Health Day (WMHD), celebrated annually on 10 October, is organized by the World Federation for Mental Health and endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO). The event represents a global commitment to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world and to mobilize efforts in support of mental health.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the mental health situation in the Region, increasing new cases of mental health conditions and worsening pre-existing ones. It has also produced significant disruptions to services for mental, neurological and substance use disorders. Populations that have historically faced a higher burden of mental health conditions and reduced access to treatment are being disproportionately affected by the mental health impacts of COVID-19.
In the Region of the Americas, mental, neurological and substance use (MNS) disorders and suicide account for more than one third (34%) of total years lived with disability, with depressive disorders being the largest single cause of disability. Nearly 100,000 people die by suicide each year in the Region.
Now more than ever, as the COVID-19 pandemic highlights and deepens long-standing inequities in mental health in the Region, it is essential that we work to make mental health care a reality for all. World Mental Health Day 2021 will give voice to diverse perspectives on mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the goal of calling attention to inequities in mental health in the Americas and joining together to eliminate them.