Mental health declining globally

This issue deserves more attention

Mental health is a neglected topic in the global context. That the cases of mental disorder are on the rise in every country is, in fact, alarming. Experts fear that global mental health crisis could cost the world USD 16 trillion by 2030. It is said that mental health is going to be one of the major public health crises across the world in the coming days. 

But it is saddening that the issue is yet to receive the due attention across the globe. Currently at least 450 million people globally are suffering from mental illness and mental health-related diseases. Reports tell us that the number of mental health patients is on the rise in Bangladesh too. Statistics show that 17.8 per cent teenagers, 18.4 per cent children and 16.1 per cent adult people in the country suffer from some sort of mental illness.

It is absurd that, in Bangladesh, family members of a person suffering from mental illness do not take the patient, due to social stigma, to a psychologist or a qualified doctor for early diagnosis and treatment. In rural areas, people take such patients to quacks and traditional healers and blame it on their fate if the patient does not get well. 

]What is more appalling is that even among the members of some educated families there is a tendency to take patients to traditional healers instead of qualified physicians. Hence, breaking down the stigma regarding mental health is very important and we need to extend support and care to those who experience problems with their mental health.

There is a need to establish a common ground for 

the global and local communities so that they can 

intervene into and address the mental health issues prudently

There is no denying that the government over the last few years has changed the scenario of mental health treatment facilities across the country. Some 18,000 clinics across the country provide counseling to mental health patients. But at the same time it is disheartening to note that only 0.5 percent of the country’s total budget is allocated to improve mental health services whereas the budget should have an allocation of at least 5 percent in the developing countries. 

As a consequence, mental healthcare system in Bangladesh is facing miscellaneous problems including lack of public mental health facilities, scarcity of skilled workforce and inadequate financial resource allocation. In this regard, the government should look forward to reinforcing country’s mental health services by allocating adequate fund.

Experts are of the opinion that common mental health problems prevailing in our country are anxiety, depressive disorder, sleep disorder, acute stress, adjustment disorder etc. Given the impetus of the situation, all the countries in the world should work together to protect themselves from mental health perils. Also, there is a need to establish a common ground for the global and local communities so that they can intervene into and address the mental health issues prudently.