Mental health and substance abuse

Mental health and substance abuse

Key Messages:

- There is no health without mental health.

- Mental health is a human right.

- Mental health and well-being are fundamental to achieving the highest possible levels of health for all people.

WORLD MENTAL HEALTH DAY 2017: Mental health in the workplace

During our adult lives, a large proportion of our time is spent at work. Our experience in the workplace is one of the factors determining our overall wellbeing. Employers and managers who put in place workplace initiatives to promote mental health and to support employees who have mental disorders see gains not only in the health of their employees but also in their productivity at work. A negative working environment, on the other hand, may lead to physical and mental health problems, harmful use of substances or alcohol, absenteeism and lost productivity.

WORLD SUICIDE PREVENTION DAY 2017: Take a minute, change a life

Every year, 200 000 people die by suicide in the Western Pacific Region, accounting for 25% of global suicides. Over 75% of all suicides in the region occur in low- and middle-income countries. Risk factors contributing to suicidal thought or behaviour, include previous suicide attempts, harmful use of alcohol and mental disorders. However, many suicides are impulsive in moments of crisis where their ability to deal with financial loss, chronic illness and other life’s stresses breaks down.

Mental health

100 millionpeople are affected by mental disorders in the region.

Mental health fact sheet

Suicide prevention

200 000 people die by suicide in the Western Pacific Region, accounting for 25% of global suicides

Cause-specific mortality estimates for 2000-2015 (click WHO regions)


770 000people die every year due to harmful use of alcohol (est.). This represents 5.9% of all deaths.

Alcohol fact sheet

Featured publication

Like a Day That Never Ends: A Journey Through Depression

Regional Forum on Protecting Young People from the Harmful Use of Alcohol

Regional Agenda for Implementing the Mental Health Action Plan 2013-2020 in the Western Pacific


Mental health GAP Action Program (mhGAP) Forum

9-10 October 2017, WHO Headquarters - Geneva, Switzerland

Fifth Pacific Islands mental health network meeting (Review of mhGAP implementation and strengthening disaster response)

17-18 October 2017, Nadi, Fiji

Training for Leadership and Advocacy Teams to Reduce Alcohol Harm in Young People

14-16 November 2017, Hoi An, Viet Nam

World Health Day 2017

Depression: Let's Talk

Depression is an illness characterized by persistent sadness and a loss of interest in activities that you normally enjoy, accompanied by an inability to carry out daily activities, for at least two weeks. On World Health Day, the World Health Organization will be launching a one-year campaign: Depression: let's talk.


Mental Health and Substance Abuse
Division of NCD and Health through the Life-Course
World Health Organization
Regional Office for the Western Pacific
P.O. Box 2932
1000 Manila