TEHRAN, (PNA/IRNA) — UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in his message on World Mental Health Day, October 10, 2013, called for greater efforts to carry out the UN’s Comprehensive Mental Health Action Plan for the sake of all people with mental health problems, especially those who are older and require special attention.
According to a press release issued by the UN Information Center (UNIC), the full text of his message reads:
People around the world are increasingly aware that our human family is “greying”, with the proportion of those aged 60 and over expected to double this half century. From just over 605 million older persons in 2000, there will be an estimated 2 billion by 2050.
We can all benefit from the warmth and wisdom of older generations. But while many people look forward to a fulfilling old age, more than one in five adults aged 60 and over experiences mental or neurological disorders such as dementia and depression.
Health care professionals and older people themselves often do not recognize these mental health problems. Worse, people are frequently reluctant to seek help because of the stigma surrounding mental illness. Older adults are also vulnerable to physical neglect and shameful mistreatment — abuse that can itself trigger mental health problems.
This year’s World Mental Health Day focuses on older adults, offering an opportunity to raise awareness of these problems and overcome them.