Reference/Data Resources: World Health Organization Releases Mental Health Atlas 2017 (Full Text Available Online)
From the World Health Organization:
WHO’s Mental Health Atlas 2017 reveals that although some countries have made progress in mental health policy-making and planning, there is a global shortage of health workers trained in mental health and a lack of investment in community-based mental health facilities.
The Atlas provides information on the existence of policies, plans and laws for mental health, and their alignment with established human rights instruments; the human and financial resources available; the type of facilities providing care; and mental health programmes for prevention and promotion.
It is based on data provided by 177 WHO Member States, representing 97% of the world’s population, and measures the extent to which countries are strengthening leadership and governance for mental health; providing comprehensive mental health and social care; implementing strategies to promote mental health and prevent problems, and strengthen evidence and research – as outlined in WHO’s Comprehensive Mental Health Action Plan 2013-2020.
In low-income countries, the rate of mental health workers can be as low as 2 per 100 000 population, compared with more than 70 in high-income countries. This is in stark contrast with needs, given that 1 in every 10 person is estimated to need mental health care at any one time.
Less than half of the 139 countries that have instituted mental health policies and plans, have these aligned with human rights conventions which stress the importance of transition from psychiatric institution to community-based services and the participation of people with mental disorders in decisions concerning them. And all too often, when mental health plans are made, they are not supported by adequate human and financial resources.
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