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Creating an Environment to Support Global Mental Health

Earning an online master’s in psychology degree can offer pathways to a helping career.

In 2021, a global cohort of adults cited mental health as their country’s third biggest health concern after COVID-19 and cancer.1 That’s why organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO) are bringing countries and communities together to promote wellness and support global mental health.

“Mental health is fundamental to our collective and individual ability as humans to think, emote, interact with each other, earn a living, and enjoy life,” WHO said in releasing its Mental Health Action Plan. “On this basis, the promotion, protection, and restoration of mental health can be regarded as a vital concern of individuals, communities, and societies throughout the world.”2

Here are some of the components public health professionals believe are essential to fully support global mental health:

Expanding Universal Health Coverage
If mental health care is to be truly accessible to all, WHO says universal health coverage is essential: “… Persons with mental disorders should be able to access, without the risk of impoverishing themselves, essential health and social services that enable them to achieve recovery and the highest attainable standard of health.”3

Building Mental Health Literacy
Global mental health professionals say communities should create and expand educational initiatives for all ages.4 One globally embraced example is Mental Health First Aid (MHFA), a training program established in Australia in 2001 and now used in more than 27 countries, including the U.S. The program trains participants to recognize and offer the appropriate support to someone who may be experiencing a mental health problem. MHFA has been found to be especially helpful in rural communities where access to health services is limited.5

Safeguarding Children
Early childhood screening and support are other key components of a global mental health plan. According to WHO, this should include “providing a stable environment that is sensitive to children’s health and nutritional needs, with protection from threats, opportunities for early learning, and interactions that are responsive, emotionally supportive, and developmentally stimulating.”2 School-based education and intervention programs can be very effective and are increasingly prevalent, particularly in high- and middle-income countries.4

Engaging All Stakeholders
In its Mental Health Action Plan, WHO calls for a “multisectoral approach” for building global mental wellness: “A comprehensive and coordinated response for mental health requires partnership with multiple public sectors such as health, education, employment, judicial, housing, social, and other relevant sectors, as well as the private sector, as appropriate to the country situation.”3

Give Back With an Online Degree
People from diverse educational and career backgrounds are professional stakeholders, too, working to promote positive social change that helps build healthier communities. Earning a master’s degree in psychology can help prepare you to make your contribution in fields that include psychology, education, healthcare, and social work.

Walden University, a leader in distance education for more than 50 years, offers an online MS in Psychology degree program that can help prepare you to work in a variety of settings that include schools and community colleges, healthcare and social service agencies, nonprofit organizations, and government.

Walden’s online master’s degree program in psychology offers multiple specializations so you can tailor your studies to your career goals. Step into the vanguard with Digital Psychology, learning how technology affects human behavior. Study cognition and lifespan development in the Educational Psychology specialization. Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) teaches an evidence-based therapy that is often used in work with people on the autism spectrum to help them ameliorate problem behaviors and build positive social skills.

Walden also gives you the opportunity to launch your psychology studies with an online Bachelor of Psychology degree program. Choose from concentrations that include General Psychology, Forensic Psychology, Human Services, and Workplace Psychology.

Bachelor’s, master’s, or PhD: Walden designs its online degree programs so you can earn a degree while continuing to work and enjoy your life. The accredited university’s flexible online learning platform lets you engage in your studies on your own schedule, wherever you have an internet connection.

Bring your life experience and thirst for knowledge to Walden and find the online degree program that prepares you to step into your chosen career in psychology and make a difference through your life’s work.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering an online MS in Psychology degree program with multiple specializations to help you meet your professional goals. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.


Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission,

Note on licensure: The MS in Psychology is not a licensure program and does not prepare an individual to become a licensed psychology or counseling professional.

Note on certification: Walden’s MS in Psychology program with a specialization in Applied Behavior Analysis has been designed to offer acceptable graduate coursework in behavior analysis (Verified Course Sequence as approved by the Association for Behavior Analysis International and accepted by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board) and prepare students to sit for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst® (BCBA®) exam, which is administered by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board® (BACB®). Walden University does not offer the fieldwork experience required for eligibility to sit for the BCBA exam. Walden Enrollment Specialists can provide information relating to national certification exams; however, it remains the individual student’s responsibility to understand, evaluate, and comply with all requirements relating to national certification exams for the state in which he or she intends to practice. Walden makes no representations or guarantee that completion of Walden coursework or programs will permit an individual to obtain national certification. For more information on applying for certification from BACB®, visit