Its time to talk about depression. With a cancer diagnosis causing such impact and distress to the lives and families of the recipient, it can be sadly all too common for feelings of depression to accompany cancer patients. The European Cancer Organisation (ECCO), the voice of multidisciplinarity in cancer, recognises the important needs of cancer patients in respect to mental health and is therefore pleased to support the World Health Organisation’s awareness drive on depression on the occasion of World Health Day, 7th April.
ECCO President Peter Naredi remarked:
“The focus of World Health Day on depression is an excellent reminder to all of us to challenge mental health stigmas wherever we find them, and create an environment around us where all can feel open and encouraged to discuss their feelings.
One of the honours of leading an organisation such as ECCO is being in such regular contact with colleague professionals in psycho-oncology, a crucial part of the multi-disciplinary cancer team.
In a shortly-to-be-published position paper on innovation, ECCO will emphasise the need for cancer patients to have access to psycho-oncology services. This ensures that not only the direct medical needs of cancer treatment are provided for, but also patients’ psycho-social support requirements.
We all need to keep talking about depression and mental health to ensure we create the architecture for treatment that patients have a right to expect.”
About World Health Day
The founding of the World Health Organisation (WHO) is celebrated annually on April 7th. Each year, this anniversary allows for the highlighting of a specific health topic and provides a platform for global mobilisation through World Health Day. The 2017 campaign theme is depression. With a campaign slogan of “Depression: Let’s talk”, WHO seeks to bring depression into the spotlight of international medical dialogue.
From 1990-2013, individuals suffering from depression and/or anxiety increased by close to 50%. Depression does not discriminate, causes mental stress and impedes an individual’s ability to carry out simple tasks. At times, depression also leads to the severing of important relationships; however, it can be treated. Understanding depression and how it can be prevented and treated will encourage greater discourse which can remove the stigma associated with it, encouraging more people to seek help.
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ECCO is a not-for-profit federation comprised of 25 Member Societies cumulatively representing over 170 000 medical professionals. It is the only multidisciplinary organisation that connects and responds to all relevant oncology stakeholders throughout Europe. ECCO aims to promote and uphold the rights of all European cancer patients with regards to receiving the best treatment and care, while promoting dialogue amongst all organisations involved in cancer at a European level.