In recent years, mental health has finally risen to the forefront of public discourse. This global issue affects millions of people, regardless of age, gender or socio-economic status. However, there remains a significant gap between the increasing prevalence of mental health disorders and the availability of meaningful support and resources. In this article, we will delve into the ongoing mental health crisis, highlighting the urgent need to break the stigma surrounding mental health and explore potential solutions to address this critical issue.

The alarming statistics

The statistics surrounding mental health are alarming. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately one in four individuals will experience a mental health issue at some point in their lives. Moreover, half of all mental health conditions emerge by the age of 14, highlighting the importance of early intervention and support systems for young people.

The COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated the mental health crisis, with increased levels of anxiety, depression, and loneliness reported globally. The isolation, uncertainty, and economic hardships resulting from the pandemic have taken a toll on people’s mental well-being.

The stigma and barriers to care

Despite progress in raising awareness, stigma surrounding mental health remains a significant barrier. Many individuals fear judgment, discrimination, and social isolation if they disclose their mental health struggles. The misconceptions and discrimination associated with mental illness perpetuate shame and prevent individuals from seeking help.

Moreover, there is a lack of accessible and affordable mental health services in many parts of the world. Limited mental health infrastructure, scarcity of mental health professionals, and high treatment costs create barriers to care for those who need it most. This inequality in access compounds the already dire situation, particularly for marginalized communities.

Building a mental health-friendly society

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To combat the mental health crisis, it is crucial to prioritize a multi-faceted approach that aims to dismantle the stigma and ensure equitable access to mental health services:

1. Education and Awareness: Public education campaigns must be launched to dispel myths, challenge stereotypes, and increase awareness surrounding mental health. Education should be integrated into school curricula, workplaces, and communities to foster empathy and understanding.

2. Normalizing Open Conversations: Encouraging open conversations about mental health are essential to breaking the stigma. Promoting safe spaces, both online and offline, where individuals can share their experiences without fear of judgment can pave the way for acceptance and support.

3. Increasing Access to Care: Governments and healthcare systems must prioritize mental health services by investing in mental health infrastructure, training more mental health professionals, and ensuring greater affordability and accessibility to treatment options. Telemedicine and digital mental health platforms can play a significant role in bridging the gap between individuals and mental health support.

4. Integrating Mental Health into Healthcare Systems: Mental health should be integrated into primary healthcare to ensure holistic patient care. By training healthcare professionals to identify and address mental health issues, early intervention and treatment can become more commonplace.

5. Workplace Support: Employers should create supportive work environments that prioritize employee mental well-being. This includes adopting policies that accommodate mental health concerns, providing access to counseling services, and fostering a work culture that encourages work-life balance and stress reduction.


The mental health crisis is a complex and urgent issue that demands immediate attention. Breaking the stigma surrounding mental health, increasing awareness, and improving access to affordable, quality care are key steps in addressing this crisis. By prioritising mental health as a global priority, we can create a society that supports and uplifts individuals who are grappling with mental health challenges. Together, we can create a world where mental health is no longer stigmatized, and everyone has access to the care they need.

Harrison is a student of the Department of English and Literary Studies of Delta State University, Abraka