He notes the majority of people with depression lives in low- and middle-income countries. According to the latest estimates from World Health Organisation (WHO), over 300 million people are now living with depression, an increase of more than 18 per cent between 2005 and 2015. This is why the WHO's campaign for this year's World Health Day is "Depression: Let's Talk".
Speaking with The Express Tribune on World Health Day on Friday, renowned psychiatrist Dr Noman Mazhar said mental illness existed in our society and was not a stigma.
GETTYWorld Health Day 2017 seeks to highlight depressionWhat is World Health Day? It causes mental anguish and impacts on people's ability to carry out even the simplest everyday tasks, with sometimes devastating consequences for relationships with family and friends.
Each year, some 5,000 Vietnamese and 800,000 people worldwide commit suicide, and depression is one of the leading causes, the study said.
Chhit Sophal, the head of mental health and substance abuse at the ministry, said officials questioned people living in Phnom Penh and Kandal province as part of the research and found they had little understanding of depression compared with neighboring countries.
She described this year's theme as apt, noting that the world generally was going through a season in which many people have different reason to express sadness which most times lead to depression. The above underscores the importance of overcoming this challenge. More than 90 countries, of all income levels, have introduced or scaled-up programmes that provide treatment for depression and other mental disorders using this Intervention Guide. "The number of persons with common mental disorders globally is going up, particularly in lower-income countries, because the population is growing and more people are living to the age when depression and anxiety most commonly occurs", the World Health Organization explained.
"It causes severe symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working", states the National Institute of Mental Health website. The campaign Depression.Let's Talk aims to help individuals who are suffering to seek and get help.
Infectious diseases, antibiotic resistant bacterium and air pollution are just some of the major health concerns the World Health Organization has helped combat through research, government programs and collaborations for almost 70 years.
The chairman also urged government to reduce to the barest minimum the problem of stigma associated with depression.
Previous research suggests people may avoid seeking help due fear of shame from their peers.
"The roles played by family members, friends and colleagues are also important to help those living in depression".
The WHO noted that at a global level, over 300 million people are estimated to suffer from depression, equivalent to 4.4 per cent of the world's population and almost that number again suffers from a range of anxiety disorders.