Wednesday, May 30, 2012

World Health Organization Supports Better MH Care

Before closing on May 26, the World Health Organization’s Sixty-fifth World Health Assembly adopted a new resolution calling on the 194 member states to improve conditions for mentally ill persons in their countries. 

“Member States acknowledged the need for a comprehensive, coordinated response to addressing mental disorders from health and social sectors at the country level,” said the resolution. “[T]his includes approaches such as programs to reduce stigma and discrimination, reintegration of patients into workplace and society, support for care providers and families, and investment in mental health from the [national] health budget.” 

The statement also supports community-based care close to patients' homes; the need for school-based suicide prevention programs; and better understanding of how substance abuse and domestic violence contribute to and worsen mental health disorders. 

The resolution’s passage came several months after a group of U.S. psychiatrists prompted the WHO to rethink its exclusion of mental health from a list of noncommunicable diseases, as reported here in Psychiatric News.
(Image: WHO/Pierre Albouy)


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