MENTUPP joins the international call for ‘Greater Investment and Greater Access to Mental Health for All’ on World Mental Health Day

The World Health Organisation (WHO) states that despite nearly 1 billion people living with mental health disorders, mental health is one of the most neglected areas of public health.  

  • Depression alone is expected to be the leading disease burden in the next ten years.
  • One in 10 people is suffering from a mental disorder and those with severe conditions die 10-20 years earlier than the general population.
  • Suicide claims up to 800,000 lives each year (1 person every 40 seconds) and is the second leading cause of death among young people aged 15-29 years. In most cases, suicide occurs in the context of a mental disorder.

World Mental Health Day (WMHD) takes place annually on 10th October to raise awareness, promote, and mobilise resources in support of mental health and wellbeing, worldwide.  Organised by the World Federation of Mental Health (WFMH), this year’s theme is “Mental Health for All: Greater Investment – Greater Access”.

There is an under investment in mental health globally, greater investment would deliver significant public health benefits. For depression, three factors highlight scope for improvement. First, the heavy disease impact associated with this prevalent and severe disorder; second, the availability of efficient treatments, namely antidepressants and psychotherapy; and third, the opportunity for increased access to treatment, as only a small minority of affected people currently benefit from treatment used according to treatment guidelines.

The call for Greater Access and Greater Investment this World Mental Health Day is timely. The COVID-19 pandemic magnifies the challenges faced by mental health resources and services already overburdened, underfunded, and under resourced. COVID-19 has put a spotlight on the need and essential role of mental health services globally.

The EU-funded project MENTUPP, coordinated by Prof. Ella Arensman, aims to improve mental health of employees in Small and Medium Enterprises. It addresses non-clinical aspects such as stress, well-being and burnout, and depression with or without an anxiety disorder, as the most frequently observed clinical condition in workplaces across the European Union (WHO, Mental health and well-being at the workplace, 2010).

On the non-clinical side, work environments can contribute to wellbeing and stress reduction and on the clinical side, workplaces can support those affected to rapidly access professional help from the health care system. Interventions addressing both non-clinical and clinical mental health issues are likely to reduce suffering for the individual, but also business costs due to reduced absenteeism and presentism.

The MENTUPP project is developing, implementing and evaluating such interventions in Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). The initial focus is on the construction, health, and ICT sectors but will expand later to SMEs in other sectors. MENTUPP will also address the reduction of suicidal behaviour as a secondary aim. “Limited capacities for mental health promotion and provision of adequate occupational mental health programmes for employees are a concern shared by most decision-makers in Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs),” says Prof. Ella Arensman.

World Mental Health Day calls on all stakeholders to raise awareness about mental health and the collective action needed to make access to mental health care a reality for people worldwide.  Join the call for ‘Greater Investment and Greater Access to Mental Health for All’, this World Mental Health Day.


For more information on World Mental Health Day and suggested activities; visit

MENTUPP (Mental Health Promotion and Intervention in Occupational Settings) is an EU-funded international research project with the primary aim to improve mental health in the workplace by developing, implementing and evaluating a multilevel intervention targeting mental health difficulties in SMEs in the construction, health and ICT sectors. The secondary aim is to reduce depression and suicidal behaviour at the workplace. MENTUPP consists of 17 global partners with expertise in mental health, suicide prevention, depression, mental illness stigma, implementation science, as well as health economics. 

Learn more about MENTUPP: