In the past year, 668 people took their own lives in New Zealand: the highest number since records began and the fourth year in a row the number increased.
In 2016, some time after the magnitude 7.8 Kaikōura earthquake rattled the capital, the 18-year-old took his own life.
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“Mental health problems kill more young people than any other cause around the world.” Prof. Vikram Patel, Harvard Medical School
Lancet report says 13.5 million lives could be saved every year if mental illness addressed.
Every country in the world is facing and failing to tackle a mental health crisis, from epidemics of anxiety and depression to conditions caused by violence and trauma, according to a review by experts that estimates the rising cost will hit $16tn (£12tn) by 2030.
A team of 28 global experts assembled by the Lancet medical journal says there is a “collective failure to respond to this global health crisis” which “results in monumental loss of human capabilities and avoidable suffering.”
The burden of mental ill-health is rising everywhere, says the Lancet Commission, in spite of advances in the understanding of the causes and options for treatment. “The quality of mental health services is routinely worse than the quality of those for physical health,” says their report, launched at a global ministerial mental health summit in London.
Towards a New Era for Mental Health
Prabha S Chandra, Prabhat Chand
The new Lancet Commission on global mental health and sustainable development raises important issues at a time when many countries in the Global South are re-examining their national priorities in mental health. With its broad vision, the Commission shows why mental health is a public good that is a crucial part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Commission’s report emphasises the need to take a dimensional approach to mental health problems and their treatment; to allocate resources where they will be most cost-effective; to consider a life-course approach; and to build on existing research that will pave the way for better understanding of the causes, prevention, and treatment of mental health problems.