On 10 October 2022 we will be celebrating World Mental Health Day with the theme ‘Make
Mental Health & Well-Being for All a Global Priority’ a theme chosen by a global vote that
was open to the public, including WFMH members, stakeholders, and supporters.
Our world is reeling from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, wars, displacement, and
the climate emergency, all of which have consequences for the well-being of world citizens.
Rates of people experiencing suicidal ideas are increasing globally and people with lived
experiences of mental health, their families and other populations continue to tell us that
their mental health well-being is not always at the forefront of governments, those who pay
for services or society at large. Stigma and discrimination continue to be a barrier to social
inclusion and access to the right care.
There are however some good news messages.
There is increasing evidence that the prevention of mental ill health is possible by using both
general and targeted evidence-based interventions. These can improve outcomes for
individuals across the spectrum of mental disorder and life course. We can all play our part in
increasing awareness about what preventive mental health interventions work.
We need to work with governments and other stakeholders to apply universal preventive
measures that reduce the risk of mental ill-health. This includes the promotion of social
inclusion policies, support and direct investment for vulnerable populations and investment
in communities and young people to reduce crime. We need to support well-being
interventions across the life course from pregnancy, birth, early childhood, early teens,
adulthood to older adulthood - we need to improve the social determinants of health and
address mental health stigma and discrimination.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s)
adopted at the 70th Session of the UN General Assembly in 2015 cannot be achieved unless
we make a meaningful investment in improving mental well-being for all. The COVID 19
pandemic has shown that many health systems are ill-prepared to deal with the physical and
mental health challenges faced by their populations.
Employers generally are unprepared. The culture of our workplaces needs to support the
mental health and well-being of the workforce, so that employers are better prepared to
support mental health well-being in the working population. There is a need to establish
global mental health and well-being targets that can bring together evidence that captures
the social determinants of health, including promoting exercise, widening access to good
nutrition and food, all of which will have a positive impact on mental health and well-being.
The mental health and well-being of many health, social care and frontline workers has been
affected by the pandemic and systems need to be strengthened to better support such staff
during times of crisis and challenge.
COVID 19 has shown that no nation was prepared for the associated mental health crisis and
the effects of long Covid. We need a new compact for mental health.
Society and citizens matter.
Civil society’s role needs to be enhanced and enabled so that people can make their own
contribution to mental health and well-being in their communities and workplaces, including
harnessing peer support.
Governments have a role to play. Collaboration between governments, citizens and planners
needs to be strengthened. Policy change is often seen as a tool to deliver care packages, but
this should not be the case. Policies should be regarded as care packages. The international
community and those who pay for services need to understand this so that we can develop
truly joined up processes that deliver mental health and well-being to all our population. No
community and no individual should be left behind.
The 2022 World Mental Health Day theme ‘Make Mental Health & Well-Being for All a Global
Priority’ provides us with an opportunity to re-kindle our efforts to make the world a better
We are at a cross-roads. It is imperative to take the correct path.
We invite you to join this year’s World Mental Health Day campaign.
Professor Gabriel Ivbijaro MBE JP
WFMH Secretary General