Today is World Mental Health Day 2021, and this post’s title is this year’s campaign slogan. Mental health conditions don’t get the same attention as physical health conditions, and there has been chronic underinvestment in mental health care for years. That needs to change.
According to the World Health Organization:
- Depression is a leading cause of disability worldwide and is a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease. Globally, it is estimated that 5% of adults suffer from depression.
- People with severe mental disorders such as schizophrenia tend to die 10-20 years earlier than the general population.
- The lost productivity resulting from depression and anxiety, two of the most common mental disorders, costs the global economy US$ 1 trillion each year.
- For every US$ 1 invested in scaled-up treatment for depression and anxiety, there is a return of US$ 5.
To address this gap, politicians need to put more money into mental health services. There’s a strong economic case for investment, as well as a moral imperative. For World Mental Health Day, I would encourage you to write to your elected representatives and encourage them to invest in mental health services.
In Canada, the federal Liberal government committed during the recent election campaign to (source: Liberal Party of Canada):
- Establishing a new federal transfer – the Canada Mental Health Transfer – to provinces and territories to expand the delivery of high-quality, accessible and free mental health services
- Committing to permanent, ongoing funding for mental health services under the Canada Mental Health Transfer, with an initial investment of $4.5 billion over 5 years
If you’re a Canadian, you can find MP contact info here to let your member of parliament know that you expect them to follow through on the Liberal promise, or hold the Liberal government to account regarding that promise.
Today, I’ve contacted my representatives in federal parliament and the provincial legislature, as well as the provincial Minister of Mental Health.
Individual voices may not create change, but collectively, our voices can make a difference.
11 thoughts on “Mental Health Care for All: Let’s Make It a Reality”
Thank you Ashley Leia. This is such an important topic. I hope that more funding and support is directed to words helping those in need. Raising awareness, is a part of what is needed. However, more widespread funding needs to be aĺlocated; not just a few drops from.the federal coffers.
Grateful to folks like you as fellow advocates ❤❤❤❤
If only mental health conditions were taken as seriously and given as much awareness as physical, visible conditions. It sucks.
It’s a struggle to get help here in Australia. So many psychologists have either closed their books and aren’t taking on new clients or the wait lists are so long it’s not funny. Imagine if a dentist, physiotherapist or surgeon did the same – yet it’s somehow okay for people to be unable to access mental health support.
You are so right voices do matter/ I learned something about you today. I know you do the book review. I didn’t realize though that you wrote 3 books.
They’ve all been self-published, and I did the first one in 2019. It’s been good to have projects to focus on.
While we’re at it, let’s make healthcare for all a reality. *Cries in ‘I’m a U.S. citizen…”
So fucking ridiculous that that’s even an issue…
Thank you for advocating for this. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder super late. Earlier intervention and education on the top could have saved me a ton of trouble. Keep on marching. ✊✊✊