Focus on children's mental health, WHO urges African leaders

Matt Hancock made the announcement on World Mental Health Day that Jackie Doyle-Price will lead efforts to cut the number of people taking their own lives - now 4,500 every year in England.

Parents who are anxious about their children's mental wellbeing can call YoungMinds' parent helpline on 0808 802 5544 between 9.30am and 4pm Monday to Friday. They can also be times of stress and apprehension.

Mental health issues signify disorders that affect mood, thinking and behaviour of an individual due to depression, anxiety, schizophrenia and even eating disorders and addictive behaviours.

"One in four of us will have to deal with a mental health condition at some point in our lives" Gaga and Ghebreyesus said, adding that suicide is "the second leading cause of death globally among 15-29 year olds".

Half of all mental illness begins by the age of 14, but most cases go undetected and untreated. We can all learn how to offer support to loved ones going through a hard time. The authors say that efforts should focus on reducing stigma and identifying mental health problems early, before a crisis occurs. Harmful use of alcohol and illicit drugs among adolescents is a major issue in many countries and can lead to risky behaviours such as unsafe sex or dangerous driving. More shockingly, 60% of respondents believed that people with mental illness "should have their own groups to avoid contaminating healthy people" and 68% believe that they "should not be given any responsibility".

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Looking to the future, the pair calls upon readers and national governments to put more funding into mental health support, before highlighting a collection of research on how to promote and protect mental health and treat mental illness, which will also be published this week in the The Lancet medical journal.

"The Benin Specialist Hospital will be open to offer specialist care to patients before the end of the year and we have received letters of intent from experts in the health sector, who want to partner with us to ensure that our health system can meet the needs of our people", he added.

"We can all help to build communities that understand, respect and prioritize mental wellness".

"The new Mental Health Strategy and the other measures we are promoting today demonstrate that our work in the area is consistently evolving and improving as we move forward".

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