The World Health Organization today released its largest review of world mental health since the turn of the century. The detailed work provides a blueprint for governments, academics, health professionals, civil society and others with an ambition to support the world in transforming mental health.
Mental health is critically important to everyone, everywhere. All over the world, mental health needs are high but responses are insufficient and inadequate. The World mental health report: transforming mental health for all is designed to inspire and inform better mental health for everyone everywhere. Drawing on the latest evidence available, showcasing examples of good practice from around the world, and voicing people’s lived experience, it highlights why and where change is most needed and how it can best be achieved. It calls on all stakeholders to work together to deepen the value and commitment given to mental health, reshape the environments that influence mental health, and strengthen the systems that care for mental health.
The report urges all countries to accelerate their implementation of the Comprehensive mental health action plan 2013–2030. It makes several recommendations for action, which are grouped into three ‘paths to transformation’ that focus on shifting attitudes to mental health, addressing risks to mental health and strengthening systems of care for mental health. They are:
1. Deepen the value and commitment we give to mental health. For example:
Stepping up investments in mental health, not just by securing appropriate funds and human resources across health and other sectors to meet mental health needs, but also through committed leadership, pursuing evidence-based policies and practice, and establishing robust information and monitoring systems.
Including people with mental health conditions in all aspects of society and decision-making to overcome stigma and discrimination, reduce disparities and promote social justice.
2. Reshape environments that influence mental health, including homes, communities, schools, workplaces, health care services, natural environments. For example:
Intensifying engagement across sectors, including to understand the social and structural determinants of mental health and intervening in ways that reduce risks, build resilience and dismantle barriers that stop people with mental health conditions participating fully in society.
Implementing concrete actions to improve environments for mental health such as stepping up action against intimate partner violence and abuse and neglect of children and older people; enabling nurturing care for early childhood development, making available livelihood support for people with mental health conditions, introducing social and emotional learning programmes while countering bullying in schools, shifting attitudes and strengthen rights in mental health care, increasing access to green spaces, and banning highly hazardous pesticides that are associated with one fifth of all suicides in the world.
3. Strengthen mental health care by changing where, how, and by whom mental health care is delivered and received.
Building community-based networks of interconnected services that move away from custodial care in psychiatric hospitals and cover a spectrum of care and support through a combination of mental health services that are integrated in general health care; community mental health services; and services beyond the health sector.
Diversifying and scaling up care options for common mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety, which has a 5 to 1 benefit – cost ratio. Such scale up includes adopting a task-sharing approach that expands the evidence-based care to be offered also by general health workers and community providers. It also includes using digital technologies to support guided and unguided self-help and to deliver remote care.
- The Mental Health Atlas 2020
- World Mental Health Day 2021: Mental health care for all: let’s make it a reality!
- The WHO and Angry Birds Friends team up for World Mental Health Day
- Comprehensive Mental Health Action Plan 2013 – 2030
- National Mental Health Strategy & Action Plan 2077
- National Mental Health Survey, Nepal-2020 Fact Sheet
- Mental health status among health workers in Nepal during COVID-19 pandemic (Policy brief)
- Mental health and psychosocial considerations during the COVID-19 outbreak