Event to help address under investment in mental health

Updated: Mar 24, 2021

World Health Organization
The Big Event for Mental Health will feature celebrities and activists sharing about their motivations for advocating for greater investment in mental health. PHOTO: ImageCollab

World leaders and internationally-recognized celebrities and mental health advocates will gather for the Big Event for Mental Health on World Mental Health Day on 10 October. The event organized by the World Health Organization (WHO) is an online advocacy event for mental health focusing on the need to address the world’s chronic under-investment in mental health, a problem thrown into the spotlight during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dévora Kestel, director of WHO’s department of Mental Health and Substance Use, says close to 1 billion people are living with a mental disorder, three million people die every year from harmful use of alcohol and one person dies every 40 seconds from suicide. She says billions of people around the world have also been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic which is having a further impact on people’s mental health.

“The theme of the Big Event for Mental Health and World Mental Health Day this year is ‘Move for mental health: let’s invest aims to highlight actions that can be taken at all levels to increase investments in mental health’. At an individual level, this means taking personal action that supports one’s own mental health an