World Mental Health Day 2022: Make mental health & well-being for all a global priority

Koa Health
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October 10th isn’t just another day—it’s World Mental Health Day. It’s a day that unites people worldwide to address the ever-growing mental health crisis, break down barriers to care and fight against stigma for a healthier, happier world.

Each year, the World Health Organization (WHO) designates a theme for World Mental Health Day that aligns with the most urgent issues related to mental health. This year’s theme—make mental health and well-being for all a global priority—is near and dear to our hearts. Mental health for all is our mission, and seeing this idea highlighted by the WHO makes us hopeful for the future. Together, we can work towards a future where mental wellbeing and mental health care are accessible to people everywhere.

Mental health affects everyone. Mental health isn’t either/or. More than the absence or presence of mental illness, it’s helpful to think of mental health as a range extending from very well to requiring acute mental health attention. Where our mental health status falls on that range at any given moment is influenced by many circumstances, among them the environment in which we live, work and socialise. It can change from year to year, month to month and even day to day.

Demand for mental health support is higher than ever. But even as the need for mental health support grows, the availability of licensed therapists and clinicians shrinks. This begs the question: what are we waiting for? Mental health has reached a critical tipping point and must be addressed. So what can be done to reduce the burden on employers, healthcare systems, insurers and most importantly, those struggling to build and maintain mental health and wellbeing?

Mental health in the workplace

Workplace wellbeing and employee mental health emerged as key priorities for businesses well before the pandemic. Still, the need for employee wellbeing support has only grown stronger in the wake of COVID-19. As employees continue to cope with changes to the way they work, live and socialise, mental health has risen to the top of the list of must-have employee benefits, with 78% of UK employers planning to enhance their mental wellbeing and stress management offerings in 2021.

While this is a step in the right direction, many employers are missing the mark. Feeling supported is directly correlated with benefits offered, yet more than 5 in 10 workers in the UK report that they don’t feel their mental health is supported at work. So where are employers and the benefits they’ve invested in going wrong?

Supporting the “missing middle”

There are a number of reasons why people that are struggling with mental health challenges feel their current options for support aren’t right for them. When it comes to mental health, most solutions focus on one end of a continuum, offering support that is either too casual (such as mindfulness and meditation apps) or too clinical (from counselling to more intensive treatment) for their unique needs. We’re under-serving the majority of those seeking mental wellbeing support, creating a “missing middle.”

The missing middle is the largest portion of the population, made up of people who really need the resources (and encouragement) to learn behaviours and techniques to support balanced mental wellbeing. They need easy-to-access support to help them build resilience before they reach a turning point. Making matters worse, healthcare systems around the world have increased the treatment thresholds clinical treatment, further reducing access to care. This, combined with the rise in mental health conditions and symptoms across the board, is leaving millions unable to access the support they need to manage their wellbeing and effectively avoid the need for more acute (and expensive) care.

The population that makes up the missing middle— the great majority of people—would most benefit from self-guided, science-backed resources that can help them learn positive behaviours and establish or improve upon their stress management skills. Therapists and psychiatrists are already in short supply, and wait times are steadily rising: in the UK, wait times are currently more than four months. But even if there were sufficient mental health care providers to go around, many who would benefit from mental wellbeing support strongly prefer the convenience and discretion of self-help. For the good of people across the full continuum of mental health, it’s time to shift the approach to mental health care.

Mental health for all

To make mental health for everyone, everywhere, a reality, mental health care will have to bridge existing gaps in care to span the entire mental health continuum. Koa Health is on a mission to make mental wellbeing support more accessible to all populations—the missing middle and beyond—by creating personalised, evidence-based solutions that users can access when they need it most, wherever they are.

To learn more about how Koa Health can support your employee and member populations, contact us at, or schedule a call with one of our experts, here.

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Koa Health

The Team @ Koa Health

Our diverse team of developers, researchers, psychologists and behavioral health experts work together to create practical, thought-provoking content to accompany our range of digital therapeutics.