Facts about mental health

Mental health and mental disorders, such as depression, schizophrenia and dementia, have wide ranging effects around the world. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), "14 percent of the global burden of disease is attributed to these disorders."

Mental health disorders are characterized by WHO as "some combination of abnormal thoughts, emotions, behaviour and relationships with others." Though the impacts are wide-reaching, WHO states that most disorders can be successfully treated.

Here are facts about mental health from WHO:

Mental health is an integral and essential component of health
The WHO constitution says, "Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity."

Socioeconomic, biological and environmental factors all play a role in mental health
"An environment that respects and protects basic civil, political, socio-economic and cultural rights is fundamental to mental health promotion. Without the security and freedom provided by these rights, it is very difficult to maintain a high level of mental health," according to WHO.

About 20 percent of children have mental disorders or problems
According to WHO, about half of mental disorders begin before age 14. "Neuropsychiatric disorders are among the leading causes of worldwide disability in young people."

War and disasters have a large impact on mental health
WHO reports that "rates of mental disorder tend to double after emergencies."

Investment in treatment depression and anxiety can improve productivity
WHO and the World Bank found that investing $1 in treatment for depression and anxiety leads to a $4 return in better health and ability to work.
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