WHO declares Theme for World Health Day 2017: Depression

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared Depression as the theme for the next World Health Day (7th April 2017). The campaign slogan is ‘Depression: Let’s Talk’, and was released on the World Mental Health Day this year (10 October 2016).

Background Information:

What is Depression?

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.

In addition, people with depression normally have several of the following symptoms:

  • a loss of energy;
  • a change in appetite;
  • sleeping more or less;
  • anxiety;
  • reduced concentration;
  • indecisiveness;
  • restlessness;
  • feelings of worthlessness, guilt, or hopelessness; and
  • thoughts of self-harm or suicide.

Key Messages:

Depression is a common mental disorder that affects people of all ages, from all walks of life, in all countries.

Depression is not a sign of weakness.

The risk of becoming depressed is increased by

  • poverty,
  • unemployment,
  • life events such as the death of a loved one or a relationship break-up,
  • physical illness and
  • problems caused by alcohol and drug use.

Depression causes mental anguish and can impact on people’s ability to carry out even the simplest everyday tasks, with sometimes devastating consequences for relationships with family and friends.

Untreated depression can prevent people from working and participating in family and community life.

At worst, depression can lead to suicide.

Depression can be effectively prevented and treated. Treatment usually involves either a talking therapy or antidepressant medication or a combination of these.

Overcoming the stigma often associated with depression will lead to more people getting help.

Talking with people you trust can be a first step towards recovery from depression.

Useful Links:

Link to the World Health Day 2017 web page:


Link to WHO page containing WHD 2017 Posters:



Link to WHO handout ‘Depression: What you should know’ [PDF]:


Link to WHO handout ‘Living with someone with depression?’ [PDF]:


Link to WHO handout ‘Worried that your child is depressed?’ [PDF]:


Link to WHO handout ‘Worried about the future? Preventing depression during your teens and twenties’ [PDF]:


Link to WHO handout ‘Wondering why your new baby is not making you happy?’ [PDF]:


Link to WHO handout ‘Staying positive and preventing depression as you grow older’ [PDF]:


Link to WHO handout ‘Do you know someone who may be considering suicide?’ [PDF]:


Link to WHO handout ‘Do you feel like life is not worth living?’ [PDF]:


Link to World Health Day 2017 Campaign Essentials:


Link to WHO page on how you can get involved:



4 thoughts on “WHO declares Theme for World Health Day 2017: Depression

  1. Samuel victor

    A better theme chosen for the year because majority of people in India suffer from depression. I would rather say let’s talk.



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