Mental health, especially mood disorders such as depression, are increasingly society’s biggest long-term health issue.
Depression is one of the most significant public health problems facing the world in the 21st Century. Depression is now the leading cause of disability worldwide. Indeed, it is estimated that over a quarter of citizens of working age have suffered from depression. Diagnoses for the illness have continued to increase, even as many employers have failed to understand the impact that stressful working lives can have on their staff and, implicitly, on economic productivity. Such is the scale and variety of the problem that many patients are not getting suitable treatment, an issue only likely to exacerbate the impact.
The complexity of the problem requires a multi-faceted approach, with engagement from government, academia, healthcare providers, the pharma industry, employers and patient groups. This event looked at the burden of depression as well as a variety of national responses to it, bringing in cross-sector stakeholders as States are trying to tackle a problem that has become a leading cause of illness, in and out of the workplace.