World Mental Health Day 2020 #writeforchange

Billions of people worldwide are suffering from a mental health condition and the COVID-19 pandemic has only aggravated the situation. What’s more, according to the WHO, countries spend only 2% of their health budget on mental health, despite the fact that for every US$ 1 invested in scaled-up treatment for common mental disorders such as depression and anxiety, there is a return of US$ 5 in improved health and productivity.

At Masawa, we’re serious about our commitment to investing and nurturing capital for better mental health. However, we don’t want to stop there.

We’re also advocating for more mental health awareness and public investment. How? All team members commit to writing letters to public health officials demanding more attention and investment for MH, every day, for the rest of the month. And we invite you to write with us! Together we can make change happen.


  • Download the letter template below and find the mail or postal address of your country’s public health minister in the list.
  • Make the letter your own – feel free to adapt the language, include a personal story or share how you feel. This information makes the letter stand out and it becomes more likely to be read.
  • Write, sign, send the letter, and post a photo of it to social media using #writeforchange – By encouraging others to participate too, we can continue to raise awareness and help governments see, and tackle the problem that desperately needs our attention!
  • Thanks! Questions, want to say hello or participate in this action as a partner organization? come say 

Letter template

I, (YOUR FULL NAME) would like to draw your attention to the lack of accessible mental health support, the absence of preventative measures, and low mental health literacy, which fuels the prevailing stigma.

Currently, all of us are struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic, but there’s another crisis lurking around the corner yet is often overlooked—the mental illness pandemic. Mental illness is currently the leading cause of disability worldwide and, in the next ten years, is set to cost the global economy $16 trillion.

1 in 5 people worldwide is set to experience substance abuse or mental health disorder at some point in their lives. COVID-19 is actively increasing these numbers – at least half a million more people are likely to experience mental health problems in the UK alone (CAN ADAPT BY COUNTRY). The pandemic disproportionally affects those experiencing mental disorders and highlights the shortcomings of mental healthcare systems. The isolation, the risk of contagion, and the strict measures can have highly detrimental effects when unaccompanied by adequate solutions to support those whose mental health is affected negatively.

Next to that, talking or caring about our mental health is still perceived negatively in many communities. The stigma around mental health and treatments for it is outdated, yet still prevalent. The pressure to stay silent, hide it, “get over it” is costing people’s lives every day. Increasing mental health literacy and accessibility, as well as dedicating time to bring people’s stories to the public space, are the only ways to reduce this burden.

With the challenges that are shaking up our society, we are continuously reminded that mental health is heavily dependent on various socioeconomic determinants. It’s affected by our jobs, our financial status, living conditions, our communities. Recognizing the effects of poverty, long-term stress, violence, isolation, and acting to reduce them can help prevent mental health disorders from developing and mitigate long-term negative consequences on a global scale.

We wish to see these things happen:

  • Mental health is placed at the center of the public health agenda
  • Investment in mental health literacy and community-focused mental health services is increased
  • Human rights of people with mental health disorders and psychosocial disabilities are recognized and schemes are placed to ensure they receive adequate support

The (YOUR COUNTRY) Government / … needs to act now to avoid the current situation developing into yet another public health crisis and make sure that we do not replicate the same patters of the mental health care that keep producing unsatisfactory results. It’s time for us to build a system of kindness, care, and respect, so that billions live life.



Picture template​

Template for World Mental Health Day photos

Find the postal addresses of your mental health minister here or add it

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