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The other pandemic: Why World Mental Health Day is more important than ever

Each year, on 10th October, we come together as a community on World Mental Health Day. It’s a moment to shine a light on the mental health struggles that so many face every day, and a day to come together to create a brighter future for mental health

But this year it’s different. The pandemic has made the need for high-quality mental health research more urgent than ever.

Even before COVID-19 made its way around the globe, there was still an urgent need to better understand mental health. Although we have come a long way to address stigma, there’s still so much we don’t know. Why? Mental health research is underfunded.

In England, one in four people are affected each year by mental health problems., and yet mental health receives just 6.1% of research funding. That's just £9 spent on research per person affected each year. 

And then COVID-19 came. It created new challenges to our mental health — challenges we can’t grasp because mental health research is still very underfunded. The problem has compounded.

Mental illness has always been the other, hidden pandemic we face today.

We must start paying more attention to this other pandemic and investing in high-quality mental health research so we can start to build a brighter future — a future where mental illnesses are understood, effectively treated and one day prevented. On World Mental Health Day, let’s get started.

Donate now. 

Last updated: 8 October 2020

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