World Mental Health Day 2020

The World Health Organization and partners are encouraging people around the world to invest in mental health. This is especially important now given the challenges brought by COVID-19 and the economic downtown. According to Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization:

 “We are already seeing the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on people’s mental well-being, and this is just the beginning. Unless we make serious commitments to scale up investment in mental health right now, the health, social and economic consequences will be far-reaching.” You can read more about the WHO’s news release about this here

For World Mental Health Day 2020, RECOVER-E partners shared what mental health means to them and why it’s important to invest in.

  • “We, in Romania, always considered mental health as a niche specialty, but, looking at the facts and figures we should understand that it is a general health and social issue. Mental health is always a personal, community and social issue. During these pandemic times, working in mental health means working at the same time with people and for people, and there is only a community answer to that, never a singular one.” – Dr. Tiberiu Rotaru, Psychologist, Romania
  • “Mental health is a right. Society must ensure that all citizens enjoy equal opportunities and the right to be heard. We are all responsible for making it possible and for actively promoting the process of moving from being a sick person to being a citizen.” – Guadalupe Morales Cano, Peer Expert, Spain
  • “Good mental health is an important part of my life. I consider that the gift I can give to all those who surround me is my positive attitude and a constructive way of doing things. For these two reasons I constantly invest in my mental health!” – Dr. Raluca Nica, Executive Director of Romanian League for Mental, Romania
  •  “The mental health consequences of the pandemic and economic crisis have already started to show and will continue to be felt in the months and years to come. We know that investing in mental health has economic and social returns. We need short and long-term initiatives focused on prevention of mental health issues that involve all sectors, not only the health sector. If we act now, we still have a chance to create a society with social and economic buffers in place to keep us mentally well and resilient in the face of stressors.” – Dr. Laura Shields-Zeeman, Department Head of Mental Health and Prevention at Trimbos Institute, The Netherlands

Additionally, RECOVER-E partner the European Federation of Psychologists’ Associations (EFPA), shared their perspective about investing in capacity–building for mental health services. They said:

“Funding for mental health has often been the first to be cut during times of austerity. During the pandemic mental health issues are on the rise and psychological support is ever more key.”

You can read EFPA’s news article for World Mental Health Day 2020 here.

 As RECOVER-E community mental health teams develop and adapt to new ways of working, partners continue to discuss and define investments needed to sustain the work of community mental health teams in the long-term. Finding ways to continue access to mental health care focused on strengths and recovery and grounded in the community contexts in which we operate is now more important than ever.