Hello and it’s a real pleasure to join you all today.

It’s fantastic that, 4 years after the UK hosted the inaugural summit in London, it’s still going strong, and I’d like to thank Minister Véran and his team for organising this year’s event.

This year’s summit comes at a critical moment. There’s never been a more important time to talk about mental health, after our shared experience of this pandemic. A pandemic which has brought so much heartache and devastation, and has led to millions of people mourning loved ones all across the world.

And we must also recognise that there’s been another – less visible – impact: the impact on people’s mental health.

Our fight against this invisible killer forced us to take steps that, in normal times, would have seemed unthinkable, as we had to place restrictions on the social contact and shared experiences that bring us so much good health and happiness.

And, although these sacrifices were vital to slow the spread of the virus, we cannot deny that they’ve placed a strain on our mental health.

Around 1 in 5 adults in Britain experienced some form of depression in the first 3 months of this year. That’s over double the figure before we started our fight against COVID-19.

And almost half of adults have reported that their wellbeing has been affected by this pandemic.

As a result, we’ve seen more people seeking help, both here and around the world, at a time when health systems were already under the greatest of strains. A survey by the World Health Organization (WHO) showed that the pandemic disrupted mental health services in 93% of countries worldwide.

But, although this was an arduous time for health systems everywhere, there’s a lot that we can learn from one another about how we handled this period of pressure and the new ways of working that we were forced to adopt.

In England, we set up 24/7 crisis hotlines that have received 3 million calls since the start of the pandemic, and we used mental health apps and virtual consultations to provide extra pathways for care.

We’ve seen a decade of change crammed into just 2 years. And today provides a perfect opportunity to …….

Source: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/mental-health-a-decade-of-change-in-just-2-years

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