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April 7th is World Health Day, and Training Qualifications UK is joining the World Health Organization (WHO) this year in trying to raise awareness for depression and other mental illnesses.

In the West and around the world, life expectancy has been slowly climbing, year on year, for the last several decades. Infectious diseases have been stamped out. Advances in science and medicine occur every day, and these advances save thousands of lives every year. Generally, human beings are healthier, less susceptible to disease, have better access to healthcare and are living longer. Recently, CNN reported that in 2015, the global average life expectancy was 71.4 years, and is expected to rise to 85 years among women in many countries, with South Korea leading the way with a projected staggering 90.8 years.

But these enormous advances have opened up new challenges, and among these new challenges is the ongoing task of addressing and managing mental illnesses. The WHO estimates that, at a global level, over 300 million people are estimated to suffer from depression alone, equivalent to 4.4% of the population. Because of a rise in living standards, many more people are living to an age when depression most commonly occurs. The total estimated number of people living with depression increased by 18.4% between 2005 and 2015. Depression can be caused by any number of things, from an inherent predisposition to exterior factors like unemployment, life events like the death of a loved one, physical illness and problems caused by alcohol and drug use. Depressive disorders are the single largest contributor to non-fatal health loss, and affect not just health and well-being, but also efficiency and productivity, with depression and anxiety cost the global economy $1 trillion every year.

Vital in efforts to manage these sorts of problems are social care workers. These individuals work in areas like mental health care, end of life care, counselling and care for the elderly and young children that are on the frontlines of mental health battles of today.

And when you work in social care, it is so important to learn new skills and to keep learned skills fresh and up to date. TQUK has established criteria for assessing and accrediting qualifications for mental health training that are of the highest standard. Learners must receive the best possible training so that clients receive the best possible care. We offer Level 1 and Level 2 Certificates in Mental Health Awareness (RQF). You can learn more by visiting our website. Together, we can help make a world where people who suffer from mental illness can get the services they need.