ental, physical and social health are essential and interwoven components of life, and it is almost impossible to achieve one without the other. Sadly, in most of the world, the subject of mental health is still not recognized and accorded the same degree of importance as physical health. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 450 million people suffer from a mental or behavioural disorder. Mental health disorders are fast becoming a significant public health concern.
The COVID-19 pandemic and its resulting socio-economic impact have taken a toll on people’s mental health, exacerbating existing mental health conditions owing to work and school closures, job losses, isolation, disease experience and inadequate access to health services.
Mental health conditions place a significant burden on all facets of society, including, families, workplaces, communities and the wider economy. Family members who are usually the primary caregivers of people with mental health disorders are burdened with the financial responsibility associated with treatment and care. It also limits the economic participation of persons with mental health disorders, thereby restricting their ability to make productive contributions to their communities and national economy.