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Depression is the top cause of illness and disability worldwideby Circa News

If you've ever felt depressed, you might find comfort in knowing that you're not alone.

According to new estimates from the World Health Organization, depression is the leading cause of ill health and disability worldwide. The report reveals more than 300 million people are now living with depression, an increase of more than 18 percent between 2005 and 2015.

The report was released as part of the organization's "Depression: let's talk" campaign.

The overall goal of the campaign is that more people with depression, everywhere in the world, both seek and get help. Unfortunately, available resources are often very limited.

Even in high-income countries, nearly 50% of people with depression do not get treatment.

On average, just 3% of government health budgets is invested in mental health, varying from less than 1% in low-income countries to 5% in high-income countries.

Lack of support for people with mental disorders, coupled with a fear of stigma, prevent many from accessing the treatment they need to live healthy, productive lives.

According to the report, depression is linked to various health risks.

Depression increases the risk of substance use disorders and diseases such as diabetes and heart disease; the opposite is also true, meaning that people with these other conditions have a higher risk of depression.

For some, talking to others about depression can be challenging.

These new figures are a wake-up call for all countries to re-think their approaches to mental health...

Dr. Margaret Chan, WHO Director-General

Dr. Margaret Chan, WHO director-general said these figures should encourage people to "treat depression with the urgency that it deserves."

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