Mental health and substance abuse

Depression_lets_talk_posterDepression: Let’s talk

11 October 2016 – Depression is an illness that can happen to anybody. It causes mental anguish and affects people’s ability to carry out everyday tasks, with sometimes devastating consequences for relationships with family and friends.

At worst, depression can lead to suicide. Fortunately, depression can be prevented and treated.

On World Mental Health Day (10 October), the World Health Organization is launching a one-year campaign: Depression: let’s talk.

Handouts on depression

Campaign essentials


WHO QualityRights toolkit now available in Arabic

The WHO QualityRights project The WHO QualityRights project aims to improve the quality and human rights conditions in inpatient and outpatient mental health and social care facilities and empower organizations to...

» Read the full story
Leadership in Mental Health Course

28 October 2015 -- The WHO Regional Office, the American University in Cairo and the Christian Blind Mission delivered the first-ever regional leadership course to scale up action on mental...

» Read the full story

14 July 2015 | Geneva - Worldwide, nearly 1 in 10 people have a mental health disorder, but only 1% of the global health workforce is working in mental health....

» Read the full story

In focus

Second Leadership Course in Mental Health

The WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean and the American University in Cairo successfully completed the Second Leadership Course in Mental Health in July 2016. The 2-week course aimed...

» Read the full story


Improving quality and human rights in mental health: a training of trainer’s workshop on WHO QualityRights Toolkit, 12–14 December 2012

All over the world, people with mental and intellectual disabilities and substance use disorders are subject to poor quality care and violations to their basic rights. These conditions are also...

» Read the full story
World Mental Health Day, 10 October

World Mental Health Day, 10 October, provides an opportunity to reflect on and discuss prevention, protection and treatment strategies and plans for mental disorders. The theme of the Day this...

» Read the full story

Statistics and figures

In the Eastern Mediterranean Region:

Mental and neurological disorders are responsible for 12% of all disability adjusted life years (DALYs) lost due to disease and injury

Mental health disorders account for 27% of years lived with disability

Drug abuse is responsible for a loss of 4 DALYs per 1000 population

Drug abuse is responsible for 9 deaths per 100 000 population

The overall adult (+15) per capita consumption per year of alcohol is low (0.65L as compared to the global average of 6.13L)