Politicians, academics, mental health professionals and patients will be invited to take part in the world's first global ministerial mental health summit later this year.
The Department of Health and Social Care has announced that London will host the inaugural Global Ministerial Mental Health Summit in October, with representatives from more than 30 countries coming together to share evidence regarding different treatments, and to enshrine mental health as being just as important as physical health.
Other topics of discussion will include the best ways to deal with issues such as stigmatisation, discrimination and increased rates of depression and anxiety among young people, and finding ways of bolstering the profile of mental health on the global stage.
This announcement coincides with the establishment of a new Global Alliance of Champions on Mental Health by the UK, Australia and Canada. The aim of this project will be to encourage political leaders to drive discussions of mental health, decrease stigma and foster collaboration across world regions.
Health and social care secretary Jeremy Hunt said: "I hope this inaugural global summit can play a central role in changing the story for millions of people around the world experiencing mental illness.
"This is the next step in a journey to a new level of cooperation between nations so that we can improve people's access to evidence-based services and bear down on stigma and other factors that are exacerbating this crisis."
It is estimated that around one in four people will experience a mental health problem at some point in their life, with World Health Organization estimates suggesting that mental health conditions will account for 15 per cent of cases of disease in the world by 2020.
Mental illness is also a leading cause of lost economic output, with an estimated cost to the global community of nearly $2.5 trillion (£1.87 trillion) a year, which is expected to increase to $6 trillion by 2030.
Written by Angela Newbury
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