Giving Compass' Take:

• Mental health is a growing, global challenge that impacts individuals, families, and communities everywhere. Understanding and destigmatizing mental health should be a priority in all countries. 

• How can existing health programs better incorporate mental health care? What different societal and cultural barriers exist to providing mental health care around the world? 

• Find out why mental should be a funding priority.

In past years, the [World Economic Forum] has been a venue for engaging the public’s attention and global action on important public health challenges. Today, we see an urgent need to tackle the growing burden of a health issue that is rarely discussed, hidden in the shadows, and stigmatized — but one that ruins lives and damages families, communities, and society: It’s the growing global challenge of mental health.

Worldwide, an estimated 1 billion suffer from anxiety, 300 million people are affected by depression, 60 million suffer from bipolar affective disorder, and about 21 million are affected by schizophrenia or other severe psychoses.

We are making significant advances in neuroscience and increasing understanding of the brain and brain disorders. But the growing prevalence of mental illness, particularly in young people — combined with rising rates of Alzheimer’s and gaps in research and care — have the potential to create a global crisis.

Read the full article about mental health by Jeremy Farrar and Paul Stoffels at Devex.