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World Health Day

7 April 2017

The theme of 2017 World Health Day campaign is depression. The very founding principles of RfL are a testimony to the creative force and results of combating depression.

Roads For Life – the Talal Kassem Fund for Post Accident Care is a nonprofit organization established in 2011 in memory of Talal Kassem, a young 17-year-old boy who was killed by a ranging driver while crossing the road on his way to school. As its founder, Zeina Kassem notes “our lives were ‘rocked’ by the loss of our eldest son, 17-year-old Talal, who was hit by a reckless driver. I now stand at a crossroad, looking back at these five years and at the marks left with the passage of time. I am proud of the choice we made to turn our anger and sadness to positive achievement”.

7 April marks the founding of the WHO. The so- called World Health Day however is also used as an opportunity to mobilize action around a specific health topic. This year’s theme is dedicated to raising awareness over the devastating effects of depression which as noted on WHO’s relevant section,affects people of all ages, from all walks of life, in all countries. It causes mental anguish and impacts on people’s ability to carry out even the simplest everyday tasks, with sometimes devastating consequences for relationships with family and friends and the ability to earn a living. At worst, depression can lead to suicide, now the second leading cause of death among 15-29-year olds.

Yet, depression can be prevented and treated. A better understanding of what depression is, and how it can be prevented and treated, will help reduce the stigma associated with the condition, and lead to more people seeking help. On this day, we at the Roads for Life, are therefore also reminded on the creative force of grief, when not left to turn into depression, when turning our anger and sadness to positive achievement, when saving lives.