Declining mental health

Invest more in mental health services

Published : 09 Oct 2020 08:47 PM | Updated : 10 Oct 2020 12:16 AM

Today is World Mental Health Day. This year’s World Mental Health Day comes at a time when our daily lives have changed substantially as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is expected that the need for mental health and psychosocial support will increase in a bigger way in the coming months and years. Hence, investment in mental health programmes at the national and international levels, which already suffered years of chronic underfunding, is now more important than it has ever been.

Mental health is still a neglected issue in the global context. That the cases of mental imbalance are on the rise in every country is, in fact, alarming. Over the last years living standard of people in Bangladesh has improved a lot. The modern pattern of life has become more technology-based and stress in life has increased much more than any time in the past. Consequently, mental health situation is worsening at an alarming rate. 

Experts are of the opinion that global mental health crisis could cost the world USD 16 trillion by 2030. It is feared that mental health is going to be one of the major public health crises across the world in the coming days. But it is sad that the issue is yet to receive the due attention it demands across the globe. Currently at least 450 million people globally are suffering from mental illness and mental health-related diseases. Reports revel that the number of mental health patients is on the rise in Bangladesh too. Statistics show that 17.8 per cent teenagers, 18.4 per cent children and 16.1 per cent adult people in the country suffer from some sort of mental ailments.

Government should look forward to reinforcing country’s 

mental health services by allocating 

adequate fund

True, the government over the last few years has changed the scenario of mental health treatment facilities across the country. Some 18,000 clinics across the country now provide counseling to mental health patients. But at the same time it is disconcerting to note that only 0.5 percent of the country’s total budget is allocated to improve mental health services whereas the budget allocation should be at least 5 percent in the developing countries. 

As a consequence, mental healthcare system in Bangladesh is facing miscellaneous problems including lack of public mental health facilities, scarcity of skilled workforce and inadequate financial resource allocation. Therefore, the government should look forward to reinforcing country’s mental health services by allocating adequate fund. Also, there is a need to establish a common ground for the global and local communities so that they can intervene into and address the mental health issues prudently.