DAVOS kicked off 2020 as the #timetoinvest in mental health

At last year’s World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting in Davos, leaders from business and politics agreed it was #TimeToAct on mental health.

Throughout 2019, the global movement for mental health built unstoppable momentum. The movement came together at a global level, joining forces and being driven by young campaigners with lived experience from around the world, who have been working tirelessly to demand better mental health prevention and treatment for all.

Campaigners put mental health on the global agenda like never before, from the UN General Assembly and the World Health Assembly to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s annual Goalkeepers event.

At a national level campaigners across the world have been working together to make significant progress.

In Tonga, the government tripled its mental health budget, the antiquated Lunacy Act is being reformed in Sierra Leone and in New Zealand, the government announced its largest ever investment into mental health (over US$1 billion).

Yet the reality of the global mental health crisis remains critical, right across the world.

Every year, depression and anxiety disorders affect 294 million and 265 million people respectively and according to the World Health Organization, depression is the single largest contributor to global disability. Up to 50% of people with mental health conditions in high-income countries and over 75% in low- and middle-income countries receive no treatment whatsoever.

Davos kicked off 2019 as year when the world agreed it’s #TimeToAct on mental health. At this year’s WEF Annual Meeting, world leaders had the opportunity to start making 2020 the #TimeToInvest in mental health.

We know that investing in mental health opens up potential and yields returns, both to individuals and to the societies and economies of which they are a part.

Davos brings together a community of global leaders, from every sector and every part of the world, to discuss how best to cooperate on the challenges the world faces. Mental health was on the agenda like never before and the global movement was there to make the case for more investment.

United for Global Mental Health and the BluePrint Group produced a briefing to support the call for investment, which was distributed to Davos attendees.

We have the blueprint for what works, and will be working with global leaders, civil society and experts through experience to define and deliver the necessary commitments and investment so that everyone, everywhere, has someone to turn to when their mental health needs support.

Read more about Davos 2020 and follow us on Twitter at @UnitedGMH.