World Mental Health Day 2023: A Wake Up Call For All World Leaders

Today is World Mental Health Day 2023, and the theme is “Mental health is a universal human right.” This is a powerful thing to think about.

Human rights have been important to the stability of societies and countries throughout history. Unfortunately, the mental health of people, from regular people to world leaders, is often not very important to us.

We need to know why. What effects does this oversight have on the security of the world?

Disorders related to mental health are a silent epidemic around the world.
One in four people will have a mental health condition in a given year, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). A lot of people worldwide deal with anxiety and sadness. Each year, these two mental illnesses cost the world economy US$1 trillion.

Mental illnesses are the main reason people become disabled and die too soon around the world. Teens and young adults (15–29 years old) are the fourth most likely to die by suicide. Every day, 800,000 people around the world kill themselves.

The World Health Organisation said that the number of people with anxiety and sadness rose by 25% around the world in the first year of the pandemic. Across all countries, the pandemic raised the rates of anxiety, loneliness, and PTSD, making it more important than ever to get mental health help.

World Leaders: Human Rights, Mental Health, and Wars

The mental health of world leaders is often only talked about in private and in theoretical news stories. But you can feel the stress they are under. Records from the past show that leaders like Winston Churchill and Abraham Lincoln dealt with sadness while making decisions that changed the world.

In the recent past, leaders have had to deal with problems that had never been seen before, such as the global pandemic, climate crises, and rising geopolitical tensions. The fighting over the border between India and China, the ongoing violence in Syria, North Korea’s plans to build a nuclear bomb, and more lately, the conflict between Russia and Ukraine and between Israel and Palestine.

These situations need leaders with good judgement and thoughts. But they are still people, and they can experience the same mental stresses that we do. There’s no question that world leaders can have mental health problems. In fact, a study from the University of Oxford found that world leaders are more likely than other people to be depressed and anxious. Maybe this is because of the stress and duty that come with the job.

Think about this: if a leader’s mental health conditions aren’t handled, they might make decisions that are more aggressive, impulsive, or rigid. Many historians think that some battles in the past got worse because the people in charge were mentally ill.

The emotional health of people who are involved in the new wars can be very badly hurt. PTSD, anxiety, and sadness are just a few of the mental health conditions that can be caused by war trauma. The sanctity and respect of each person are at the heart of human rights. If we don’t care about the mental health of the people who make decisions in the world, aren’t we indirectly putting our own rights at risk?

Should leaders of the world have to go through a lot of mental and physical tests before they can take on their role? Like the medicals football players have to go through to see if they are fit for the job.

If you want to make a difference, World Mental Health Day 2023 is more than just a date on the calendar. The right to mental health isn’t just for the many; it’s also for the few in power. Let’s remember this as we fight for human rights. It could be very important for the world’s safety and peace.