Political figures, experts by experience, innovators, experts and policymakers from around the world will come together to tackle the ‘modern-day injustice’ of mental health

The first Global Ministerial Mental Health Summit will take place 9-10 October in London, where leading voices in health and care aim to drive global action on mental health and sign a declaration committing to putting mental health on the same footing as physical health.

The summit aims to help countries work together to deal with the stigma attached to mental health and address other issues to do with mental ill-health alongside World Mental Health Day on 10 October.

The Department of Health and Social Care have started a social media campaign asking people what needs to be changed in how we see and treat mental health. You can join in by sharing your views using #TheWorldNeeds.

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “It is shocking that one in four people in the world will be affected by mental ill health at some point in their lives and around 450 million people are currently living with a diagnosed mental ill health condition.

“For too long we have collectively failed to grasp the true magnitude of the problem. We owe it to everyone to put mental and physical health on an equal footing, to try and eradicate the apathy towards mental health once and for all. I urge policymakers and leaders to put mental health at the front of their minds.”

Mental ill health is the leading cause of lost economic output, with an estimated cost of nearly $2.5 trillion annually, expected to increase to $6 trillion by 2030, according to the DHSC. The impact isn’t just economic, though – people with severe mental illness are 60% more likely to die prematurely because of their underlying condition and related conditions such as dementia and epilepsy. Yet, the average global spend on mental health is just 2.8% of government health spending. In the UK that figure is around 9.5%.

Many countries spend just 0.5% of their national health budgets on mental health and 90% of these budgets are spent on standalone psychiatric institutions with very low rates of treatment coverage, the DHSC stated.

Charity leaders from Mental Health Foundation, Young Minds, SANE, Time to Change, Rethink Mental Illness and other mental health charities, campaigners and influencers have already joined in on the online conversation using the hashtag.

For more information on the summit, follow @GlobalMHSummit on Instagram and share your views on what #TheWorldNeeds on Twitter and Instagram.