World Health Assembly focus on mental health

WHO action plan to strengthen effective leadership and governance for mental health to be discussed

 
By Kundan Pandey
Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

In a bid to make governments more responsive to the needs of growing number of people with mental health problems, the World Health Organisation (WHO) is likely to discuss an action plan to tackle the problem in the ongoing World Health Assembly on Wednesday. The assembly, the decision-making body of WHO, convened on May 20 and will conclude discussions on May 28.

A WHO official from Geneva confirmed via mail that such an action plan will be discussed on Wednesday.

As per WHO, health systems have not yet adequately responded to the burden of mental disorders. As a consequence, the gap between the need for treatment and its provision is wide all over the world. “Between 76 percent and 85 per cent of people with severe mental disorders receive no treatment for their disorder in low-income and middle-income countries. The corresponding range for high-income countries is also high which is somewhere around 35 per cent and 50 per cent,” says WHO.

Further compounding the problem is the poor quality of care for those receiving treatment. The world health agency has prepared a draft action plan for discussion.

In May 2012, the 65th World Health Assembly adopted a resolution on the global burden of mental disorders and the need for a comprehensive, coordinated response from health and social sectors at the country level. A “zero draft” of the action plan, covering the period 2013–2020, was drafted and used as the basis for consultation with member states, civil society and international partners.

The objective of the action plan is to strengthen effective leadership and governance for mental health. It also talks of providing comprehensive, integrated and responsive mental health and social care services in community-based settings. The draft emphasizes on strengthening information system, evidence and research for mental health.
In its draft, the WHO talks about global target which should be achieved by 2020. The targets are:

  • Global target 1.1: 80 per cent of countries will have developed or updated their policies/plans for mental health in line with international and regional human rights instruments
  • Global target 1.2: 50 per cent of countries will have developed or updated their laws for mental health in line with international and regional human rights instruments
  • Global target 2: Service coverage for severe mental disorders will have increased by 20 per cent
  • Global target 3.1: 80 per cent of countries will have at least two functioning national, multisectoral promotion and prevention programmes in mental health
  • Global target 3.2: The rate of suicide in countries will be reduced by 10 per cent
  • Global target 4: 80 per cent of countries will be routinely collecting and reporting at least a core set of mental health indicators every two years through their national health and social information systems (by the year 2020)

 

 

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