Global leaders, policy makers, industry professionals and academics called on countries around the world to do more to help the 350 million people suffering from depression. Meeting at ‘The Global Crisis of Depression: summit, participants, including Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary General, Norman Lamb MP, Minister of State for Care and Support, United Kingdom and Nick Haekkerup, Minister of Health, Denmark stressed that healthcare systems, businesses and the general public need to work together to fight depression. Kofi Annan told the delegates: “Depression has many impacts and dimensions.
The danger is that this can make it harder to shape a coherent and effective response. We need to build the widest possible partnerships and use effective resources to overcome these challenges. I don’t underestimate the scale of the challenge but I’ve seen how progress can be delivered in the most testing circumstances. We have the knowledge to tackle depression; we now need to find the will and resources to use this knowledge to transform the lives of hundreds and millions of people.” “I hope that today’s meeting has given people a greater understanding of the significant impact of depression and its effect on society and the economy. We have examined what measures governments and businesses are taking to address the impact of depression and looked at best practices to deal with the issue,” said Professor David Haslam, Chair, National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.
“However, much needs to be done. It is now time to move forward to a future that sees the overall quality of life of patients suffering from depression improved and the economic impact of depression minimised.” Depression is now the leading cause of disability worldwide. In Europe it accounts for more than 7% of premature mortality and now costs European governments more than EUR92 billion per year. It is estimated that more than a quarter of citizens of working age have suffered from a form of mental illness including depression, placing a huge strain on economic productivity and society welfare.
The personal and societal costs have also become significant, including higher health care costs for individuals and employers, family care giver burdens and serious complications for the patients themselves. “Depression can be a devastating illness and I’m determined to make sure anyone affected gets the support they need. We are making progress – England is a world leader in improving access to talking therapies, we have a ground breaking plan to transform mental health care and I’ve challenged every FTSE 100 company to fight discrimination by signing up to Time to Change,” said Norman Lamb MP, Minister of State for Care and Support, United Kingdom.