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7 April 2017
World Health Day  

Depression

The theme of 2017 is “Depression”.

Depression is a common mental health problem characterised by persistent sadness and a loss of interest in activities that a person normally enjoy, accompanied by an inability to carry out daily activities, for at least two weeks.  It causes mental anguish and may have devastating consequences for relationships with family and friends and the ability to earn a living.  At worst, it can lead to suicide.

Depression affects people of all ages, from all walks of life, in all countries.  According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 300 million people suffer from depression globally.  Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, and is a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease.

Yet, depression can be prevented and treated.  A better understanding of what depression is, and how it can be prevented and treated, will help reduce the stigma associated with the condition, and lead to more people seeking help.

To echo World Health Day 2017, the Department of Health is running a publicity and public education campaign starting from April 2017, with various bureaux/government departments, key partners and supporting organisations.  Together, we aim to achieve the following:

  • the general public is better informed about depression, its causes and possible consequences, including suicide, and what help is or can be available for prevention and treatment;
  • people with depression seek help; and
  • family, friends and colleagues of people living with depression are able to provide support.

The campaign slogan is “Depression Matters   Let’s Stand Together”.  The key messages are as below:

  1. Depression can be treated.  If you think you have depression:
    • Sharing – Talk to someone you trust about your feelings
    • Mind – You can get better. Seek professional help
    • Enjoyment – Exercise regularly and keep doing things you have always enjoyed

  2. When you live with someone with depression, you can help them recover:
    • Sharing – Listen without judgement. Offer support
    • Mind – You can help them recover. Be patient
    • Enjoyment – Take good care of yourself. Relax and do things you enjoy

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World Health Day 2016 – Diabetes

World Health Day 2015 – Food Safety

World Health Day 2014 – Vector-borne Diseases

World Health Day 2013 – High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

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