This Sunday we mark World Mental Health Day (10th October). It is a day that provides an opportunity to raise awareness of mental health problems and to mobilize efforts in support of mental health.
The rise in mental health problems over recent years has previously been labelled as a modern-day pandemic and one of the greatest public health challenges of our times. In the UK alone one in four people experience problems with mental health, and the social and economic costs of mental ill-health amount to billions of pounds every year.
Mental health problems are even more worrying when they concern the mental fitness of our younger generations and how we are preparing them to face the growing challenges of entering adulthood. One in ten youngsters had a mental health problem before COVID-19 struck and this number is expected to rise dramatically due to the pandemic. Mental health services will inevitably face overwhelming and unprecedented pressures which could potentially lead to a lost generation of vulnerable children and young people who are missing out on the support they vitally need.
This year’s theme for World Mental Health Day is mental health in an unequal world. Against the perfect storm of a mental health crisis combining with a global pandemic, we must not lose sight of the challenges that the most vulnerable members of society face and place our efforts in ensuring that adequate mental health support for all our children is provided.