New figures have highlighted the escalating cost - personally, professionally, financially - of the UK's mental health problems.
Mental illness in the England cost the country more than £100bn last year, according to fresh data from the Centre for Mental Health. In the Uk, one in five of us is likely to suffer with depression at some point in our lives.
Almost unbelievably, within 20 years, depression will have become the Planet's most burdensome illness, according to the World Health Organisation.
These incomprehensibly large figures throw little light, of course, on the suffering of each person affected.
Despite the extent of this mental health crisis, treatment for issues such as depression and anxiety is often reactionary, one-dimensional and only partly effective: presciptions for anti-depressants can be a knee-jerk, single-pronged response to an often complex and entrenched problem.
There is, perhaps, a light at the end of this very real tunnel. Meditation-based approaches such as MBCT - Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, pioneered by scientist and meditation teacher Jon Kabat-Zinn - have now been endorsed by science, and are being used to successfully treat these conditions.
On a related note, Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy is now recommended in the NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) guidelines for treating recurrent depression.
The application of meditation and yoga-based approaches to tackling mental health issues is a new field, but one making giant strides.
At their heart, the premise is that to tackle problems such as depression in any real, lasting way, it's crucial to learn new ways of working with the mind. After all, the world is all too often as we see it, not as it is.
All this is thoroughly, and accessibly, outlined, in the new, highly recommended book, The Mindfulness Manifesto. (Also check out the website accompanying the book: the news page is frequently updated with the latest research into mindfulness, and its applications.)
Some approaches to yoga - notably, restorative yoga - are also making big strides in helping people overcome mental health problems.
Unfortunately, western views of tackling mental health problems are normally concerned with the sticking plaster rather than the wound.
It's time to respond to the mental health epidemic with a far more holistic, searching eye: with more care and balance, and with a recognition that different approaches (some of which have been known to yogis and Buddhists for millennia) to these debilitating conditions are long overdue.
See the below links for more info on yoga and meditation for depression:
Lucia Cockcroft, editor