Depression: let’s talk - World Health Day 2017

World Health Day is celebrated on 7 April every year to mark the anniversary of the founding of the World Health Organisation and provides us with a unique opportunity to mobilise action around a specific health topic of concern to people all over the world.

The theme of the 2017 World Health Day campaign is depression. The campaign slogan is:

Depression: let’s talk.

20170407 World Health Day clinic

Depression affects people of all ages, from all walks of life, in all countries. It causes mental anguish and impacts on people’s ability to carry out even the simplest everyday tasks, with sometimes devastating consequences for relationships with family and friends and the ability to earn a living. At worst, depression can lead to suicide, now the second leading cause of death among 15-29 year olds.

Yet, depression can be prevented and treated. A better understanding of what depression is, and how it can be prevented and treated, will help reduce the stigma associated with the condition and lead to more people seeking help.

How you can help

At the core of the campaign is the importance of talking about depression as a vital component of recovery. The stigma surrounding mental illness, including depression, remains a barrier to people seeking help throughout the world. Talking about depression, whether with a family member, friend or medical professional; in larger groups, for example in schools, the workplace and social settings; or in the public domain, in the news media, blogs or social media, helps break down this stigma, ultimately leading to more people seeking help.

Distributing campaign materials for your medical practice and workplace

World Health Organisation has developed a set of posters and handouts to get the campaign started.

Posters

Each poster depicts a conversation between two people about depression. Cultural variations are in development for each scenario as well as versions of the posters in various languages.

Handouts

The handouts produced for the campaign are intended to provide initial information on depression and to increase understanding of the condition, and of how it can be prevented and treated.

Overarching messages

  • Depression is a common mental condition that affects people of all ages, from all walks of life, in all countries.
  • The risk of experiencing depression is increased by poverty, unemployment, life events such as the death of a loved one or a relationship break-up, physical illness and problems caused by alcohol and drug use.
  • 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.
  • Untreated depression can prevent people from working and participating in family and community life.
  • At worst, depression can lead to suicide.
  • Depression can be effectively prevented and treated. Treatment usually involves either a talking therapy or antidepressant medication or a combination of these.
  • Overcoming the stigma often associated with depression will lead to more people getting help.
  • Talking with people you trust can be a first step towards recovery from depression.

Further information