In 2013, the World Health Organization (WHO) enacted a "Mental Health Action Plan 2013-2020". In this plan they discussed many real world mental health issues and guidelines for countries and governments to take in order to obtain goals in achieving better mental health care by 2020.
We we are now in 2020 and what have we accomplished ? While there may have been advancements in community involvement for early diagnosis and treatment, there is little help once diagnosis has been made, other than prescriptions for medications and the occasional "talk therapy" sessions - assuming the person has the means to get to the clinic and wants to talk. It is time we take into consideration the treatment of the person as a whole and long-term, according to the action plan proposed.
Here are a few excerpts from the article, which you can read in its entirety at the link below.
Mental health is an integral part of health and well-being, as reflected in the definition of health in the Constitution of the World Health Organization: “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” Mental health, like other aspects of health, can be affected by a range of socioeconomic factors (described below) that need to be addressed through comprehensive strategies for promotion, prevention, treatment and recovery in a whole-of-government approach. (p7)
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 large all over the world. Between 76% and 85% 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: between 35% and 50%. A further compounding problem is the poor quality of care for those receiving treatment. WHO’s Mental Health Atlas 2011 provides data that demonstrate the scarcity of resources within countries to meet mental health needs, and underlines the inequitable distribution and inefficient use of such resources. Globally, for instance, annual spending on mental health is less than US$ 2 per person and less than US$ 0.25 per person in low-income countries, with 67% of these financial resources allocated to stand-alone mental hospitals, despite their association with poor health outcomes and human rights violations. Redirecting this funding towards community-based services, including the integration of mental health into general health care settings, and through maternal, sexual, reproductive and child health, HIV/AIDS and chronic noncommunicable disease programs, would allow access to better and more cost-effective interventions for many more people (p8)
The vision of the action plan is a world in which mental health is valued, promoted and protected, mental disorders are prevented and persons affected by these disorders are able to exercise the full range of human rights and to access high quality, culturally-appropriate health and social care in a timely way to promote recovery, in order to attain the highest possible level of health and participate fully in society and at work, free from stigmatization and discrimination.
Its overall goal is to promote mental well-being, prevent mental disorders, provide care, enhance recovery, promote human rights and reduce the mortality, morbidity and disability for persons with mental disorders. (p9)
The action plan has the following objectives:
1. to strengthen effective leadership and governance for mental health;
2. to provide comprehensive, integrated and responsive mental health and social care services in community-based settings;
3. to implement strategies for promotion and prevention in mental health;
4. to strengthen information systems, evidence and research for mental health.
The global targets established for each objective provide the basis for measurable collective action and achievement by Member States towards global goals and should not negate the setting of more ambitious national targets, particularly for those countries that have already reached global ones. (p10)
1. Support the creation and strengthening of associations and organizations of people with mental disorders and psychosocial disabilities as well as families and carers, and their integration into existing disability organizations, and facilitate dialogue between these groups, health workers and government authorities in health, human rights, disability, education, employment, the judiciary and social sectors. (p13)
2. Community-based service delivery for mental health needs to encompass a recovery-based approach that puts the emphasis on supporting individuals with mental disorders and psychosocial disabilities to achieve their own aspirations and goals. The core service requirements include: listening and responding to individuals’ understanding of their condition and what helps them to recover; working with people as equal partners in their care; offering choice of treatment and therapies, and in terms of who provides care; and the use of peer workers and supports, who provide each other with encouragement and a sense of belonging, in addition to their expertise. In addition, a multi-sectoral approach is required whereby services support individuals, at different stages of the life course and, as appropriate, facilitate their access to human rights such as employment (including return-to-work programs), housing and educational opportunities, and participation in community activities, programs and meaningful activities. (p14)