World Health Day is celebrated on April 7 each year to commemorate the founding in 1950 of the World Health Organization, an agency of the United Nations that focuses on the public health of the world. A different health topic is selected annually to draw attention and mobilize action. This year the focus is on depression – the leading cause of poor health and disability impacting more than 300 million people globally.
Depression affects people of all ages, from all walks of life, in all countries. It causes mental anguish and impacts peoples’ ability to carry out even the simplest everyday tasks. Depression can also lead to suicide — the second leading cause of death among 15-29-year-olds.
Yet, depression can be managed and treated. To do so, requires a better understanding of what depression is and how it can be prevented and controlled. This will not only reduce the stigma associated with the condition, but lead more people to seek help.
We can all make a difference by learning about the warning signs and treatment options for depression. And we can also take steps to focus on our own health. While exercise and a healthy diet are proven to not only impact your physical health, there are also positive takeaways for mental well-being. So, make sure to get moving, eat your fruits and veggies and take those multi-vitamins!
Depression also impacts employers as many employees suffer silently due to the stigma and often have more absences and performance issues. To help employers, Dr. John Santopietro recently wrote an article outlining steps they can take to help combat depression in the workplace.
This year on World Health Day, take some time to learn about the warning signs of depression and do your part to take away the stigma associated with this condition.