MHPSS enhances resilience and self-reliance

It is important to include MHPSS in humanitarian programmes, not only during a crisis but also during the reconstruction phase. This helps restore the resilience of people and communities, so that they can get back on their feet after the crisis. It also ensures they are equipped to deal with any new crisis. Psychosocial wellbeing also helps people make the most of economic and other opportunities.

MHPSS enhances people’s resilience

Access to MHPSS helps achieve important development cooperation objectives.

  • It ensures a higher return on investment in education, healthcare, social protection and economic development. For instance, it can be difficult for people with mental health conditions like anxiety, chronic stress and depression to gain the full benefit of schooling. They may also be less quick to see and use opportunities for work or other ways to improve their quality of life.
  • MHPSS helps people in crisis situations cope better with the problems they encounter during the crisis. 
  • MHPSS helps people and communities look beyond the immediate crisis towards the future. This can help them recover faster and thus ultimately increases the effectiveness of investments in reconstruction.

Economic costs of mental illness

Illness costs society a lot of money. For instance, illness can make people partially or completely unfit for work. According to the WEF poor mental health cost the world economy an estimated $2.5 trillion in 2010, which is projected to increase to $6 trillion a year by 2030. 

Investing in MHPSS from the start can often prevent more serious mental illness. Not only is this important to prevent suffering in affected individuals, it also has major economic benefits. The World Bank estimates that every dollar invested in early MHPSS interventions yields between $3.30 and $5.70 in social and economic gains.

MHPSS helps young people build a future

Humanitarian crises often have the biggest impact on young people. MHPSS can help them cope and work on building a future. Of course, MHPSS alone cannot resolve economic problems and poverty.

A study funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs found that, worldwide, young people had major problems with their mental health and wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic. The report particularly investigated young people’s need for better education and more job opportunities. It also concluded that there is a need to provide more MHPSS to young people. Read the It's Our Future report.