Mental Health

Three ways the world must tackle mental health

A surfer rides a wave during a large swell at Sydney's Dee Why beach July 2,2002. A severe low depression storm off Australia's southeast coast has sentbig waves battering Sydney's beaches in recent days, and is travellingtowards Fiji's southern islands, some of which have luxury resorts. Ministerfor Fiji's Home Affairs Isimeli Cokanasiga warned Fijians on national radiolast night to brace themselves for 'Fiji's worst sea disaster' and addingthat 'the country is on national alert, with waves and flooding expected tobe about six metres in height'. NO RIGHTS CLEARANCES OR PERMISSIONS ARE REQUIRED FOR THIS IMAGE  REUTERS/David GrayDG/JS - RP3DRIBQAOAA

Suicide and depression affect people who may appear 'healthy' Image: REUTERS/David Gray

Paul Stoffels
M.D., Vice Chairman of the Executive Committee and Chief Scientific Officer, Johnson & Johnson
Share:
Our Impact
What's the World Economic Forum doing to accelerate action on Mental Health?
The Big Picture
Explore and monitor how Mental Health is affecting economies, industries and global issues
A hand holding a looking glass by a lake
Crowdsource Innovation
Get involved with our crowdsourced digital platform to deliver impact at scale
Stay up to date:

Mental Health

This article is part of: World Economic Forum Annual Meeting

Mental health and brain disorders are increasingly prevalent. Suicide and depression affect people who may appear “healthy”, as evidenced by several tragic high profile suicides in 2018. Worldwide, anxiety affects one billion people. Nearly a third of that figure suffer depression, 60 million suffer bipolar affective disorder and a further 21 million have schizophrenia or other severe psychoses. Additionally, dementia - already a widespread condition - is expected to impact more than 150 million people 30 years from now.

The biology of these challenges is complex. Although neuroscience is advancing, the speed of progress is limited by public and private investment that lags behind that in other less prevalent disease areas. Meanwhile, inaccurate assessment, social stigma and a limited number of trained healthcare providers compound the inability to address the mental health epidemic effectively. To solve these challenges, we need even greater international coordination and collaboration to help drive innovation at the same speed and scale as we did in epidemic disease.

Have you read?

It’s encouraging that mental health tops the World Economic Forum healthcare agenda at the 2019 Annual Meeting. We’re looking forward to working in partnership with other leaders to bring forward new solutions. Together we need to tackle this issue on the following three fronts.

Financing

Innovative financing mechanisms can help trigger investment. With a global funding mechanism, we can work collaboratively, across borders and disciplines, to develop a platform and comprehensive approach to reduce the time, cost and risk of developing and evaluating treatments.

New public-private partnerships to tackle brain science

A more integrated research approach that combines disease risk assessment, early diagnosis and disease interception with supportive treatment interventions is critical. New approaches that better harness “big data” and real-world evidence can help improve clinical trial design and drug development, and identify novel regulatory pathways in the brain. Science and technology offer us unprecedented opportunities in these areas.

Changing the dialogue around brain health

Stigmatization of mental health disorders continues to impede delivery of care to people who need it, and reduces awareness that mental health is an urgent public health concern. Anti-stigma initiatives that encourage more societal openness and better support for people who are suffering are critically needed.

The world has an enormous opportunity to harness the advances that today’s science and technology offer to bring forward game-changing innovation in mental health prevention, treatment and care. At Johnson & Johnson, we are committed to working together with others to revolutionize the way we think about, study and approach the development of solutions so that we can change the trajectory of mental illness around the world.

Don't miss any update on this topic

Create a free account and access your personalized content collection with our latest publications and analyses.

Sign up for free

License and Republishing

World Economic Forum articles may be republished in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License, and in accordance with our Terms of Use.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

Related topics:
Mental HealthGlobal HealthHealth and Healthcare
Share:
World Economic Forum logo
Global Agenda

The Agenda Weekly

A weekly update of the most important issues driving the global agenda

Subscribe today

You can unsubscribe at any time using the link in our emails. For more details, review our privacy policy.

A generation adrift: Why young people are less happy and what we can do about it

Andrew Moose and Ruma Bhargava

April 5, 2024

About Us

Events

Media

Partners & Members

  • Join Us

Language Editions

Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

© 2024 World Economic Forum