Mental Depression Seen Growing in World

MADRID, Spain, APR. 5, 2001 ( By 2020, psychological depression will be the No. 1 cause of incapacity in developed countries, and No. 2 among the world´s most frequent illnesses, an official predicts.

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Juan José López-Ibor, president of the World Psychiatric Association, made his prediction Wednesday when discussing the activities to be held on World Health Day this Saturday.

John Paul II, at his Wednesday general audience, appealed for “affection” for mental patients, especially for the poorest and most neglected, when referring to World Health Day, which this year focuses on the mentally ill.

Depression affects 340 million people worldwide, López-Ibor said. Fewer than 25% of them have access to effective treatment, a problem that the World Health Organization attributes, primarily, to a lack of funds, he said.

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