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Massive Scale-Up in Mental Health Resources Needed

Global mental health agencies have a common message for this year’s World Mental Health Day on October 10th – invest in a massive scale-up of resources to meet the needs of a world suffering through a pandemic.

“We are already seeing the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on people’s mental well-being and this is just the beginning. Unless we make serious commitments to scale up investment in mental health right now, the health, social and economic consequences will be far-reaching,” says Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO).

Today, close to one billion people live with a mental disorder while three million people die every year from the harmful use of alcohol and one person dies every 40 seconds by suicide. And, now, billions of people around the world have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The WHO notes that countries spend, on average, only two per cent of their health budgets on mental health. Despite some increases in recent years, international development assistance for mental health has never exceeded one per cent of all development assistance for health, even though, for every $1 invested in scaled-up treatment for common mental disorders such as depression and anxiety, there is a return of $5 in improved health and productivity.

“As a social wellness agency, in April 2020, we recognized the increased need for mental health services and immediately launched our Comfort and Care During COVID-19 response fund so that we could provide hope and help,” says David Young, CEO of SOURCES.

“It’s been 30 years since the first World Mental Health Day and we’ve seen a lot of positive changes since then but, with a devastating pandemic, many people are suffering through loss, in all its various forms, that may take years to recover from.”

SOURCES offers numerous mental health services and options including virtual counselling to help those in need.  We also operate two food banks and a rent bank.  If you or someone you know is struggling, please reach out to us or click on one of the service links below to get more information.

If you would like to help during these challenging times, please consider donating to our Comfort and Care During COVID-19 response fund, by visiting https://sourcesfoundation.ca/give/  Thank you for your support!