Mental health issues impose an enormous disease burden on societies across the world.
Depression alone affects 350 million people globally and is the leading cause of disability worldwide.
Despite its enormous social burden, mental disorders continue to be driven into the shadows by stigma, prejudice and fear; just 3% of total government health spending worldwide is for mental health.
The issue is becoming ever more urgent in light of the forced migration and sustained conflict we are seeing in many countries of the world.
A two-day mental health event, dubbed; Out of the Shadows: Making Mental Health a Global Development Priority, co-hosted by the World Bank and the World Health Organization during the World Bank-International Monetary Fund Spring Meetings, aims to move mental health from the margins to the mainstream of the global development agenda.
The events to engage finance ministers, multilateral and bilateral organizations, the business community, technology innovators, and civil society will emphasize the urgent investments needed in mental health services, and the expected returns in terms of health, social and economic benefits.
The event will also feature an innovations fair at which mental health experts from around the world will showcase successful mental health projects in which they have been involved.
The event can be streamed live here
You can also follow the event with the hashtag #MentalHealthNow
Kobby Blay is the chief health editor at Ghanahealthnest.com. A professional practicing nurse with specialty in mental health and focus for health communications, public health, medical/documentary photography, ICT and systems perspective for health improvement.