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Depression: Let’s Talk – one year on

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Depression is ranked as the single largest contributor to global disability, with more than 300 million people affected, with an increase of 18% in just one decade.1

These were the startling statistics released by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in the lead-up to World Health Day on 7th April 2017 – a wake-up call for all nations to rethink their approaches to mental health and to treat it with the urgency it deserves. It was the high point of WHO’s “Depression: Let’s Talk” campaign, launched with the goal of enabling more people with depression to seek and get help.

Over 12 months, this impressive campaign catalysed a wave of awareness around the world, with the #letstalk initiative generating a huge social media presence. And the interest was phenomenal – close to 2 million website visits generated and more than 300 activities in 76 countries registered on the campaign app.

The provision of online tools, YouTube videos, guides, press releases, posters and handouts, and links to relevant materials, created an invaluable and enduring mental health resource that successfully brought people together in supportive events, activities, blogs and programmes around the world.

For someone living with depression, talking to a person they trust is often the first step towards treatment and recovery

Dr Shekhar Saxena, WHO Director of the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse

Talking about depression is a vital component of recovery, and #letstalk quickly became a conversation starter for thousands of individuals living with depression worldwide.

But it doesn’t stop here – although the official 12-month campaign has ended, the WHO continues to drive depression awareness and support forwards, enabling collaboration with governments and partners to make mental health care a reality for people worldwide.

To read more about the campaign, click here

  1. Depression and other common mental health disorders. Available at: Accessed March 2018.

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