It is widely accepted that approximately one out of four people will experience some form of mental health problem at some point in their life, so it is a real step forward that the world’s first Global Ministerial Mental Health Summit is to be held in London in October.
With ministers, policy makers, academics and people with mental health support needs from more than 30 countries invited to attend, the summit will focus on ‘working together’ to ensure healthcare systems across the globe place as much emphasis, and offer as much support, for mental health conditions as they do for physical health.
The World Health Organization estimates that mental health conditions will account for 15% of health cases in the world by 2020. As the UK’s Health and Social Care Secretary, Jeremy Hunt comments:
“..it is clear that mental illness is fast becoming one of the defining global health challenges of the 21st century.”
The Global Alliance of Champions on Mental Health was also recently launched as a joint venture between the UK, Australia and Canada.
“I hope the Alliance of Champions for Mental Health and Wellbeing, along with the inaugural global summit, will be the next step that millions of people around the world need right now. Together we will bring about a new level of co-operation between nations and improve people’s access to evidence-based services and bear down on stigma and other factors that are exacerbating this crisis.”