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Is a Quarter of the World’s Population Affected by Mental Disorders?

Miray Aljarrah Miray Aljarrah
23rd June 2022
Is a Quarter of the World’s Population Affected by Mental Disorders?
Nearly 450 million people suffered from mental disorders in 2001 (Getty).

Note: The views and opinions expressed in blog/editorial posts are those of the author. They do not purport to reflect the views or opinions of Misbar.

Mental health is essential to human well-being. When people's mental health is in balance, both individuals and communities thrive. Mental health problems have become more prevalent as a result of the stresses and difficulties of modern life. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) issues periodic reports urging governments and decision-makers to develop clear strategies and plans for promoting mental health and providing treatment to patients. Furthermore, these reports assist decision-makers in raising mental health awareness through appropriate strategies and tools. Fake news about mental health can become problematic and cause serious harm.

Outdated Figures About the World’s Mental Health Statistics 

Recently, media outlets and social media platforms shared out-of-date information about a quarter of the world's population suffering from mental disorders. WHO is the source of the allegations.

Misbar's team verified the allegations and found some to be outdated.

A report from 2001 stated that a quarter of the world's population would suffer from a mental disorder. The same information was focused on a specific region, the Eastern Mediterranean, in another WHO report.

Furthermore, the World Health Organization reported on June 17, 2022, that nearly one billion people worldwide, 14 percent of whom were adolescents, had some form of mental disorder in 2019.

Mental Disorders Affected One in Four People Around the World 

According to the World Health Organization, "one in four people in the world will experience mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives." That year, approximately 450 million people suffered from mental or neurological disorders; one-quarter of the global population would suffer from a mental disorder at some point.

People with mental illnesses, according to WHO, can live normal, productive lives and participate in their communities. More than 80% of people with schizophrenia can avoid relapses within a year of starting treatment. In contrast, psychotherapy and antidepressants can help 60% of people recover from depression.

A Quarter of the Eastern Mediterranean Population Will Suffer From Mental Illness

According to the WHO's 2019 report, roughly a quarter of all people in the Eastern Mediterranean Region will experience a mental health episode during their lifetime, but only one in every 27 will receive treatment.

In 2020, WHO reports tracked countries' mental health promotion performance and concluded that efforts to promote mental health were insufficient in comparison to agreed-upon targets. Despite the fact that 90 percent of the world's countries address mental health and psychosocial support in their COVID-19 response plans, there is still fear of the epidemic's effects, and some people lack mental health care and psychological support following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Misbar’s Sources:




United Nation News  


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