- The theme for 2017 is Depression: Let's talk
- The World Health Day is a global health awareness day celebrated every year on 7 April, under the sponsorship of the World Health Organization (WHO).
- In 1948, the WHO held the First World Health Assembly. The Assembly decided to celebrate 7 April of each year, with effect from 1950, as the World Health Day.
- The World Health Day is held to mark WHO's founding, and is seen as an opportunity by the organization to draw worldwide attention to a subject of major importance to global health each year.
- The WHO organizes international, regional and local events on the Day related to a particular theme. World Health Day is acknowledged by various governments and non-governmental organizations with interests in public health issues, who also organize activities and highlight their support in media reports, such as the Global Health Council.
- World Health Day is one of eight official global health campaigns marked by WHO, along with World Tuberculosis Day, World Immunization Week, World Malaria Day, World No Tobacco Day, World AIDS Day, World Blood Donor Day, and World Hepatitis Day.
- Depression is a state of low mood and aversion to activity that can affect a person's thoughts, behavior, feelings, and sense of well-being.
- Depression is the leading cause of ill health world wide, according to WHO, and it is also an important risk factor in suicide, which claims hundreds of thousands of lives each year.
- It is estimated that more than 300 million people are living with depression, an increase of more than 18 per cent between 2005 and 2015 and WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan says: “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.”
- Dr Shekhar Saxena, Director of the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse at WHO added: “For someone living with depression, talking to a person they trust is often the first step towards treatment and recovery.”
- Depression has strong links with other noncommunicable disorders and diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, and increases the risk of substance abuse.
- Women have a higher rate of major depression than men with women having a greater proportion of somatic symptoms, such as appetite, sleep disturbances and fatigue accompanied by pain and anxiety, than men, but instances of suicide in men is much greater than in women which is attributed to men choosing more effective methods resulting in the higher rate of success and that women are more likely to discuss their depression, whereas men are more likely to try to hide it; the culture of women being more free to express than men could be a contributing factor to this phenomenon.
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