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Depression Now Leading Cause of Ill Health and Disability, WHO Says

Depression Now Leading Cause of Ill Health and Disability, WHO Says

Last month the World Health Organization (WHO) issued a press release stating that depression, which now affects over 300 million people around the world, is the leading cause of “ill health and disability” (Kim, 2017). 


Rates of depression rose 18 percent between 2005 and 2015, and the WHO has urged governments to “invest more in mental health support,” according to an article by addiction news website The Fix. Furthermore, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) reported that in the United States alone 6.7 percent of adults “had at least one major depressive episode during 2015” (Kim, 2017). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the worldwide economic loss related to depression was $1 trillion every year (Kim, 2107).  


For World Health Day on April 7, 2017, the WHO also launched a campaign titled, “Depression: Let’s Talk,” which aims to reduce the stigma of depression and help more people get treatment. According to the WHO, the campaign will try to ensure that “the general public is better informed about depression, its causes and possible consequences, including suicide, and what help is or can be available for prevention and treatment; people with depression seek help; and family, friends, and colleagues of people living with depression are able to provide support” (WHO, 2017).
Click here to view the WHO campaign information for “Depression: Let’s Talk” and to see what you can do to get involved. 




Kim, V. (2017). Depression is now the leading cause of ill health and disability. Retrieved from https://www.thefix.com/depression-now-leading-cause-ill-health-disability
World Health Organization (WHO). (2017). Campaign essentials. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/campaigns/world-health-day/2017/campaign-essentials/en/