Global Health Academy

October 10th 2013 - World Mental Health Day: Time for Action

Today celebrates "World Mental Health Day", an initiative to raise awareness about mental health disorders worldwide, which was instigated by the World Federation for Mental Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) over two decades ago. The theme this year is ‘Mental Health and Older Adults’.

Worldwide, the ageing population is increasing, with the current population aged 60 years and over expected to expand to 2 billion by 2050, as lifetime expectancy continues to rise. As a recent report, published by the WHO “Mental Health of Older Adults: Addressing a Growing Concern” identified, mental health problems are often under-recognised in this age group.

We still have a long way to go, but I am hopeful that World Mental Health Day will continue to be one of the many small steps required to raise awareness of the needs of people living with mental illness, one of the most vulnerable groups in society, whether in low-, middle- or high- income countries.

Selena Gleadow WareVisiting Honorary Lecturer at Edinburgh University