The moto of World Mental Health Day 2021 is: “Mental health care for all: let’s make it a reality”.
Today, the World Health Organization is encouraging everyone to highliht positive stories that may be inspirational and share helpful materials. Here there are some useful links:
- Depression and suicide: what you need to know and what you can do
- Doing What Matters in Times of Stress: An Illustrated Guide
- Tips to talk and share experiences online about suicide
- Information writen by doctors in collaboration with patients and carers about different problems and disorders
- Emotional wellbeing during the covid-19 outbreak
- If you need help now this is a list of suicide crisis lines around the world
Some good news (taken from the WHO website):
- Some of the most common mental health conditions, depression and anxiety, can be treated with talking therapies, medication, or a combination of these.
- For every US$ 1 invested in scaled-up treatment for depression and anxiety, there is a return of US$ 5.
- For every US$ 1 invested in evidence-based treatment for drug dependence, there is a return of up to US$ 7 in reduced crime and criminal justice costs.
- Generalist health workers can be trained to diagnose and treat mental health conditions.
- Regular health checks of people with severe mental disorders can prevent premature death.
- The quality of life of people living with conditions such as autism and dementia can be greatly improved when their caregivers receive appropriate training.
- The rights of people living with mental health conditions can be protected and promoted through mental health legislation, policy, development of affordable, quality community-based mental health services and the involvement of people with lived experience.
More good news: Many organizations are collaborating in research projects funded by the European Comission to develop technologies that can help to promote mental health. In the MENHIR project we are studying the potential of chatbot and conversational technology to help people who suffer anxiety and mild depression. Other projects in our “Cancer survivorship – AI for well-being” cluster are focused on technology to care for the wellbeing of people diagnosed with cancer and after cancer treatment.
If you are interested in the role that conversational technologies can have to promote mental health, you will find our materials interesting, which include training and educational materials from our doctoral school as well as our publications and a reading list of scientific papers on the topic. Check here and here to access them and the many events organized within MENHIR.