A report released by the World Health Organisation (WHO) has stated that the world has failed to provide people with mental health services they required during the Covid-19 pandemic and missed most of the 2020 mental health targets. The Mental Health Atlas report, released ahead of the World Mental Health Day on October 10 includes data from 171 countries. It showed that despite an increase in attention given to mental health in recent years, it is yet to result in a scale-up of quality mental services that is aligned with needs.
WHO Director General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus mentioned in a statement, “It is extremely concerning that, despite the evident and increasing need for mental health services, which has become even more acute during the Covid-19 pandemic, good intentions are not being met with investment. We must heed and act on this wake-up call and dramatically accelerate the scale-up of investment in mental health, because there is no health without mental health.”
The report released every three years stated that in 2020 only 51 percent of WHO’s 194 member states had reported that their mental health policy was in line with international and regional human rights instruments. Reduction in the rate of suicide by 10 per cent was the only target met, but even then, only 35 countries had a stand-alone prevention strategy, policy or plan.