Mental health

Suicide: one person dies every 40 seconds


9 September 2019 - The number of countries with national suicide prevention strategies has increased in the last five years, but the number of countries with strategies, at just 38, is far too few, said WHO, on the eve of World Suicide Prevention Day. More governments need to introduce proven interventions for reducing national suicide rates. These include restricting access to means; implementing programmes among young people to build skills to cope with life stresses; and early identification, management and follow-up of people at risk of suicide.

WHO highlights scarcity of treatment for epilepsy in low-income countries

Photo by Amir Ghaiyoumi (with permission of the International Bureau for Epilepsy)

20 June 2019 – Three quarters of people living with epilepsy in low-income countries do not get the treatment they need, increasing their risk of dying prematurely and condemning many to a life of stigma. The findings are published in “Epilepsy: a public health imperative”, released today by WHO and leading nongovernmental organizations for epilepsy, the International League Against Epilepsy and the International Bureau for Epilepsy.

New WHO estimates on mental disorders in conflict settings

WHO/L. MacKenzie

12 June 2019 – One person in five living in an area affected by conflict is living with some form of mental disorder, from mild depression or anxiety to psychosis. Worse, almost 1 in 10 is living with a moderate or severe mental disorder. These new estimates, published in The Lancet today, highlight the need for increased, sustained investment in the development of mental health services in areas affected by conflict.

New guide for carers of people with dementia

3 June 2019 - iSupport, a knowledge and skills training programme for carers of people living with dementia, is now available as a hardcopy manual. Sections include how to deal with behaviour changes such as memory loss and getting lost, providing support with everyday activities such as eating and drinking, and managing one’s own physical and mental health. The manual is already available in an online format.


Good mental health is related to mental and psychological well-being. WHO’s work to improve the mental health of individuals and society at large includes the promotion of mental well-being, the prevention of mental disorders, the protection of human rights and the care of people affected by mental disorders.

World Mental Health Day 2019: focus on suicide prevention

1 person dies every 40 seconds from suicide. Every suicide is a tragedy that has long-lasting effects on the people left behind. This year’s World Mental Health Day, on 10 October, will focus on what can be done to prevent suicide.

World Health Day - 7 April 2017

“The goal of our “Depression: let’s talk” campaign was for more people with depression, in all countries, to seek and get help.

Latest publications

WHO Guidelines: Management of physical health conditions in adults with severe mental disorders

The Guidelines provide evidence-based, up-to-date recommendations to practitioners on how to recognize and manage comorbid physical and mental health conditions.

mhGAP Operations Manual

The manual is an integral component of the mhGAP package and offers practical guidance and necessary tools for planning, preparing, implementing, monitoring and evaluating mhGAP.

Suicide prevention: toolkit for engaging communities

Communities have an important role to play in suicide prevention.This toolkit is a step-by-step guide for people who would like to initiate suicide prevention activities in their community.

WHO MIND Project