An activity in response to the World Health Day at Doan Thi Diem school (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Communication and education should be given top priority to raise public awareness of depression, said Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long at the meeting “Depression: Let’s talk”, held in Hanoi on April 7 in response to the World Health Day.

Although depression is a serious illness, the prevention and treatment of this mental disorder is still hampered by society’s prejudice and discrimination, Long highlighted. He stressed that as mental health care was piloted on a small scale, most of people living with depression are not found and given sufficient treatment and care.

The deputy minister said the Health Ministry has made depression a priority in its mental health care programme, adding that educational activities on the illness will be promoted.

He noted that students and teenagers face high risks of mental health disorders, therefore schools have an important role in giving proper education for students on the health problem.

The World Health Organisation estimated that 4 percent of the Vietnamese population suffer from depression and other mental disorders. Depression is a common mental illness which has great impacts on patients’ health and life. It is also an important risk factor for suicide.-VNA