Following is the text of UN Deputy Secretary‑General Amina Mohammed’s video message for World Mental Health Day, observed 10 October:
World Mental Health Day reminds us of the importance of mental well-being not only on this day but throughout the year.
The mental well-being of our workforce is crucial for staff and their families and fundamental for carrying out our work. Every day around the world, United Nations staff undergo stress, witness tragedy and shoulder a great deal of responsibility and pressure — including matters of life and death. And now the COVID-19 pandemic has brought additional challenges and the impact on people’s mental health has been profound.
The United Nations is not immune and our staff are vulnerable to mental health issues. The Secretary-General and I are strongly committed to the mental well-being of all United Nations staff and upholding our duty of care.
Our first priority is to provide assistance to anyone in need. More counsellors are now available across the United Nations system, including for staff to access tele-counselling through our insurance providers.
Consistent and transparent communication is essential in times of uncertainty, especially for personnel to ask questions and share your views about what will help. Additional training and learning opportunities have also been made available.
We are also striving to raise awareness of the many dimensions of mental health. And we want to highlight the critical importance of reducing stigma.
Mental and physical health are two sides of the same coin. Together, we can better take care of ourselves while building a healthier workforce. I encourage staff to engage in this World Mental Health campaign, during this month and beyond.
Talk to your colleagues. Check in on people who may be experiencing difficulties. And of course, take care of your own mental health. Please know that if you are struggling, we are here for you. Let us work together to ensure mental health for all people, everywhere. Thank you.