WHO global health days

Campaign news

World Health Day 2017 - Depression: Let's talk

When sadness doesn’t stop: helping Syrians with depression

27 June 2017 - In a city in southeastern Turkey, a Syrian woman who has fled her country stands up during a question and answer session with a psychologist. "One of my relatives suffers from severe sadness …. He doesn’t sleep well. He doesn’t want to talk to others," she says. The session at which the woman is speaking is 1 of more than 20 organized for Syrians as part of the World Health Day 2017 campaign on depression.

Overcoming depression: Angelo’s story

13 June 2017 - In a very honest account, Angelo, from the Philippines, explains his personal experience of depression and how he was able to recover. He describes the essential role of his family, in particular his mother, in supporting him towards recovery.

Prevention of suicide among adolescents

10 May 2017 - Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15-29 year-olds. This short documentary describes how Malatavie, a health service in Geneva, supports young people in severe psychological distress, working together with their families and social and educational services.

Depression: Lets' talk

7 April 2017 – WHO is leading a one-year global campaign on depression. The highlight is World Health Day 2017, celebrated today. The goal of the campaign is that more people with depression, everywhere in the world, both seek and get help. Depression is the leading cause of ill health and disability worldwide. More than 300 million people are now living with depression, an increase of more than 18% between 2005 and 2015.

Depression tops list of causes of ill health

4 April 2017 – Depression is the leading cause of ill health and disability worldwide. According to the latest estimates from WHO, more than 300 million people are now living with depression, an increase of more than 18% between 2005 and 2015. Lack of support for people with mental disorders, coupled with a fear of stigma, prevent many from accessing the treatment they need to live healthy, productive lives.

Helping Syrians cope with depression

4 April 2017 -- “We call depression the black snowball,” according to a psychologist at a mental health centre in the southeastern Turkish city of Gaziantep. Hussain works with Syrian refugees that have fled to Turkey and been granted shelter there since the crisis in their country began.

Tell us about your campaign activity

2 March 2017 - Events and activities, both in-person and online, are great ways of stimulating discussion and action. Tell us – and others – about activities you are planning for the Depression: let’s talk campaign through our online app. You can also create your own campaign post, by choosing one of our campaign visuals and messages and sharing with your own networks.

Number of people with depression increases

23 February 2017 - According to new estimates of depression, released by the World Health Organization today, the number of people living with depression increased by over 18% between 2005 and 2015. Depression is also the largest cause of disability worldwide. More than 80% of this disease burden is among people living in low- and middle-income countries.

New set of posters released

14 February 2017 -- A new set of posters, specifically for countries in the Eastern Mediterranean, is being released today. Two of the posters depict a conversation in emergency settings. In humanitarian emergencies and ongoing conflict, as many as 1 in 5 people are affected by depression and anxiety.

Campaign essentials released

World Health Day 2017 poster - Depression: Let's talk

16 December 2016 -- Our Depression: let’s talk Campaign essentials guide includes sections on the goals of the campaign, key messages and campaign products. It also includes suggestions on how to get involved in the campaign and resources for journalists.

James Chau shares his personal experience of depression

14 December 2016 - For people living with depression, talking about it can be the first step towards recovery. In this short video, James Chau, news presenter and WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Sustainable Development Goals and Health, speaks of his personal experience of depression, and what helped him recover.

WHO behavioural intervention shows promise for treating depression and anxiety in conflict-affected areas

14 November 2016 – Problem Management Plus, a WHO behavioural intervention delivered by lay health workers, showed significant reductions in depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress as well as improved functioning in adults living in a conflict-affected area of Pakistan, according to a study published online in the Journal of the American Medical Association on 12 November. The study, a randomized controlled trial of the intervention in a conflict-affected setting, paves the way for introduction of the intervention in conflict-affected areas.

Depression: Let’s talk

10 October 2016 - Depression is an illness that can happen to anybody. It causes mental anguish and affects people’s ability to carry out everyday tasks, with sometimes devastating consequences for relationships with family and friends. At worst, depression can lead to suicide. Fortunately, depression can be prevented and treated. Today, on World Mental Health Day, the World Health Organization is launching a one-year campaign: Depression: let’s talk.