La salud mental: un derecho humano universal


Mental health is an essential component of our well-being. Each year, World Mental Health Day allows us to reflect on its importance and give a wake-up call to society for greater global awareness and support.

This October 10, to address this crucial issue, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) have chosen the theme “Mental health is a universal human right”.


PAHO and WHO, with their theme for World Mental Health Day 2023, emphasize the importance of ensuring everyone has access to quality mental health services, regardless of their geographic location or socioeconomic status.

In a world where economic disparities are more than evident, PAHO reminds us that we all deserve the opportunity to take care of our mental health. This involves eliminating stigmas and clichés about mental disorders, increasing investment in mental health services, and promoting education and awareness. 

“Mental Health for All” is a call to action for governments, communities, and individuals to work together to overcome barriers to accessing mental health care.


Neglecting mental health can have devastating consequences for individuals and society as a whole. Mental disorders, such as depression and anxiety, are extremely common and can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, or background. If not adequately treated, these disorders can lead to a significant deterioration in quality of life.


1. Personal well-being problems

It can lead to a decrease in emotional and psychological well-being. This can manifest itself in the form of depression, anxiety, chronic stress, and other mental disorders that negatively affect a person’s quality of life.

2. Impact on relationships

Mental health problems can hinder a person’s ability to maintain healthy relationships. They can generate conflicts in the family, in friendships, and at work, which can lead to social isolation and loneliness.

3. Physical health problems

There is a close connection between mental health and physical health. Chronic stress and anxiety, for example, can have a negative impact on the immune system and increase the risk of physical illnesses, such as cardiovascular disease and gastrointestinal disorders.

4. Professional performance

Impaired mental health can directly affect work and academic performance. Lack of concentration, fatigue, and decreased motivation make it difficult to achieve work or study objectives.

5. Increased risk of suicide

In the most severe cases, neglecting mental health can lead some people to suicide. According to the World Health Organization, more than 700,000 people die by suicide each year worldwide. In addition, this problem is the fourth leading cause of death among young people aged 15 to 29.

6. Social and economic costs

The economic and social impact of mental health neglect is significant. If governments and society in general do not become aware of the importance of addressing emotional health, the cost of health systems and social support will become increasingly high.

7. Stigma and discrimination

False judgments about mental disorders can make it difficult for people to seek help. Fear of stigma can lead to the concealment of mental health problems and delay in seeking treatment.


It should not be a privilege reserved for a few. It should be available to all people, regardless of their economic status, gender, skin color, or where they live. This is why it is so necessary to remove barriers to accessing mental health services and to banish the stigma surrounding mental disorders.

Mental health is a fundamental human right, and it is everyone’s responsibility to ensure that it is respected and protected. By promoting a healthy work environment, expanding access to mental health care, and combating stigma, we can move toward a world in which every individual has the opportunity to live his or her life with dignity.