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WHO targets depression

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Data released by the World Health Organisation show more than 300 million people around the globe are now living with depression.

It is now the leading cause of ill-health and disability worldwide.

The latest calculations were revealed to mark World Health Day, April 7.

“These new figures are a wake-up call for all countries to re-think their approaches to mental health and to treat it with the urgency that it deserves,” WHO Director-General Margaret Chan said.

The number of people with depression has grown more than 18 per cent from 2005 to 2015.

WHO is now conducting a year-long campaign called Depression: let’s talk, with the aim of encouraging more people with depression to seek help. This is also the theme of the 2017 World Health Day.

“The continuing stigma associated with mental illness was the reason why we decided to name our campaign Depression: let’s talk,” said Shekhar Saxena, Director of the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse at WHO.

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

Chris Johnson