Queen Mathilde of the Belgians has marked World Mental Health Day with a speech for the World Health Organisation’s Big Event for Mental Health on Saturday.
The Queen, as a UN Advocate for the Sustainable Development Goals, spoke in French in a video about the importance of mental health. She also touched on how the ongoing pandemic has revealed weaknesses in the healthcare sectors that have put people’s mental health more at risk.
Queen Mathilde stressed that the pandemic could provide the world with an opportunity to strengthen our health systems where people have access to mental health services where and when they need them.
Her Majesty’s full speech is below:
“I’m speaking to you today on the occasion of World Mental Health Day, as an Advocate for the Sustainable Development Goals. You have decided to participate in this Big Event for Mental Health organised by the World Health Organisation.
“This is proof of the importance that mental health has, not just for you, but for everyone, wherever they live. Good mental health enables us to fulfil our potential. It strengthens our resilience, and our ability to deal with stressful and traumatic situations.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed weaknesses in our health systems in general, and in our mental health systems in particular. It has highlighted and made worse the factors that put our mental health at risk, like bereavement, isolation, family tensions, or loss of income.
“But the increased attention for mental health, following this epidemic, provides us with the opportunity to strengthen our health systems and to improve them. Innovative measures that have been successful during the pandemic, such as telemedicine, have a role to play.
“I sincerely hope that, in the near future, each one of us will have access to mental health services, as and when we need them.
“Let us not forget, mental health is of concern to all of us.”