The Secretary General message on World Mental Health Day
10 October 2023
“Mental health is a universal human right”
Mental health is vital to humanity, allowing us to lead fulfilling lives and contribute fully to our communities.
Yet one in eight people around the world lives with a mental health condition, with women and young people being disproportionately impacted. Three in four people affected receive inadequate treatment – or no care at all. And many face stigma and discrimination.
Mental health is not a privilege but a fundamental human right – and must be part of universal health coverage. Governments must provide care that promotes people’s recovery and upholds their rights. This includes strengthening community-based support and integrating psychological help into broader health and social care.
We must also tackle abuses and break down the barriers that prevent people from seeking support. And we must address root causes – poverty, inequality, violence, discrimination – and create more compassionate and resilient societies.
On World Mental Health Day and every day, let us reaffirm and uphold mental health as a universal human right, and together, build a healthier world where everyone can thrive.