The theme of 2017 World Health Day campaign is depression.
Depression affects people of all ages, from all walks of life, in all countries. It causes mental anguish and impacts on people’s ability to carry out even the simplest everyday tasks, with sometimes devastating consequences for relationships with family and friends and the ability to earn a living. At worst, depression can lead to suicide, now the second leading cause of death among 15-29-year olds.
Yet, depression can be prevented and treated. A better understanding of what depression is, and how it can be prevented and treated, will help reduce the stigma associated with the condition, and lead to more people seeking help.
If you are reading this campaign guide, you are probably interested in getting involved in the campaign. That’s great, because achieving campaign goals will only be possible if we work together.
Whether you work for the government, a nongovernmental organization or a media outlet, whether you are a doctor, teacher, journalist, blogger, parent or simply someone who has heard about the campaign and would like to get involved, this guide is for you.
The overall goal of this one-year campaign, beginning on 10 October 2016, World Mental Health Day, is that more people with depression, in all countries, seek and get help.
More specifically, we are aiming to achieve the following:
Depression is an illness characterized by persistent sadness and a loss of interest in activities that you normally enjoy, accompanied by an inability to carry out daily activities, for at least two weeks. In addition, people with depression normally have several of the following symptoms: a loss of energy; a change in appetite; sleeping more or less; anxiety; reduced concentration; indecisiveness; restlessness; feelings of worthlessness, guilt, or hopelessness; and thoughts of self-harm or suicide.
At the core of the campaign is the importance of talking about depression as a vital component of recovery. The stigma surrounding mental illness, including depression, remains a barrier to people seeking help throughout the world. Talking about depression, whether with a family member, friend or medical professional; in larger groups, for example in schools, the workplace and social settings; or in the public domain, in the news media, blogs or social media, helps break down this stigma, ultimately leading to more people seeking help.
The campaign slogan is: Depression: let’s talk.
Depression can affect anyone. So this campaign is for everyone, whatever your age, sex, or social status. At the World Health Organization, we have chosen to pay particular attention to three groups that are disproportionally affected: adolescents and young adults, women of childbearing age (particularly following childbirth), and older adults (over 60s). Materials targeting these audiences are available in the campaign materials.