On this World Mental Health Day, he urged everyone to commit to working together with urgency and purpose to ensure quality mental health care for all people around the globe.
We are now in the midst of a growing mental health crisis, the Portuguese diplomat warned on Twitter and called for early action to save lives and prevent suffering.
According to recent United Nations reports, treatment for mental health conditions should also be a priority in the response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The health crisis is affecting the mental health of families and communities, after decades of neglect and underinvestment in mental health services, according to a report released earlier this year.
Even since the start of the pandemic in 2020, the UN secretary general has drawn attention to the psychological effects of this situation, especially among frontline health workers dealing with an overload of work.
Grief over the loss of loved ones, mental stress due to isolation, movement restrictions, employment problems, difficult family dynamics, uncertainties and fear for the future are some of the problems described.
These aspects are reflected in the Policy Brief: Covid-19 and the Need for Action on Mental Health, written by Guterres
The report also warns about the psychological burden faced by the elderly, adolescents and young people, those with pre-existing mental health conditions and those caught up in conflict and crisis.
According to World Health Organization data, people with serious mental conditions die prematurely, up to two decades earlier, due to preventable physical conditions.
Every October 10, World Mental Health Day is celebrated to highlight the importance of mental health in building full and satisfying lives.