Mental health

Depression: let’s 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.

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

Peshawar, Pakistan
WHO/H. Bower

November 2016 – Problem Management Plus (PM+), 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 (JAMA) 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.

Resource for diagnosis and management of depression in non-specialized health settings

November 2016 - The mhGAP Intervention Guide 2.0 is a resource to help health practitioners in non-specialized health settings recognize and treat mental health disorders. The section on depression provides guidance on assessment, the different types of treatment that can be prescribed, and follow-up. It includes information on treatment for depression among children and adolescents and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Version 2.0 was published in October 2016.

Highlights

Depression is a common mental disorder, characterized by persistent sadness and a loss of interest in activities that you normally enjoy, accompanied by an inability to carry out daily activities, for at least two weeks.

In addition, people with depression normally have several of the following: a loss of energy; a change in appetite; sleeping more or less; anxiety; reduced concentration; indecisiveness; restlessness; feelings of worthlessness, guilt, or hopelessness; and thoughts of self-harm or suicide.

Depression is treatable, with talking therapies or antidepressant medication or a combination of these.

Resources