Global perspective on mental health

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The burden of mental health is great but mental health and physical health are interwoven and arguments for including mental health care as part of the primary health care remove the risk of human rights violation. To assist this understanding the chapter sets out with the following objectives: 1. To review the findings of the mental health atlas of the world produced by the WHO organisation (2011) pertaining to the state of the art in mental health care delivery; manpower and fiscal issues; drug administration and the state of information systems. 2. The second objective of this chapter is to review practice experiences of integration of mental health services into primary health care in the communities to finally reiterate the compelling argument for respecting the universal aspiration for a better life and to support attainment of better quality of life in the communities where they live and to which they belong.The resolution for global mental health, led by India, the USA, and Switzerland, is the result of an increase of political will for addressing mental illnesses and has unanimous support from countries on the World Health Organisation (WHO) Executive Board. The resolution urges countries to promote the rights of persons with mental illness and to assist with efforts that would de-stigmatise illness. Crucially, it prioritises the integration of mental health services within primary health care and calls for the development of a plan that will address both health and social services, while seeking key involvement from people with mental disorders in its planning. An era of strengths based practice in the field of mental health is right at the door step in this decade. This chapter introduces the context of global health in general and mental health in particular. Gross inequalities do exist in the health status of the people particularly between the developed and the developing countries. Having said that, despite scant resources there appears to be some progress in the field of general health even in, what is described as, the third world. It is important to recall what was written three decades ago as the Alma-Ata declaration, by which the world affirmed that 'health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social being and not merely absence of disease and infirmity' (WHO: 1978).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSocial work practice in mental health
Subtitle of host publicationContexts and theories for practice
EditorsAbraham Francis
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherSAGE Publications Ltd
Number of pages21
ISBN (Print)9788132117391
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Global mental health
  • Medical psychiatric facilities
  • Mental health atlas 2011
  • Strengths based practcie
  • World health Organisation

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