WHO Sets New Mental Health Target

Disappointed by the world wide failure to provide adequate mental health services to people in need of it, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has set new target for countries to achieve in the next decade with regards mental health.

The Organisation made this known in its press release commemorating this year’s World Mental Health Day, tagged mental health in an unequal world.’

TheFact Nigeria gathered that people usually ignored their mental health until it deteriorates irreversibly

World Mental Health Day is commemorated on October 10, every year to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world.

WHO’s new Mental Health Atlas indicated poor mental health care delivery across the world even at a time when there was increased need for it due to the devastating effect of the covid-19 pandemic.

Director General of the World Health Organisation, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, decried the state of mental health services and funding, he called for more investments in the sector, he said:

“It is extremely concerning that, despite the evident and increasing need for mental health services, which has become even more acute during the COVID-19 pandemic, good intentions are not being met with investment.

“We must heed and act on this wake-up call and dramatically accelerate the scale-up of investment in mental health, because there is no health without mental health”, said Dr. Tedros.

The Atlas further revealed that none of the targets for effective leadership and governance for mental health, provision of mental health services in community-based settings, mental health promotion and prevention, and strengthening of information systems, were close to being achieved.

It also disclosed that only 25% of responding countries met all the criteria for integration of mental health into primary care and even though progress was made in training and supervision in most countries, the supply of medicines for mental health conditions and psychosocial care in primary health-care services remained limited.

The global targets reported on in the Mental Health Atlas were from WHO’s Comprehensive Mental Health Action Plan, which contained targets for 2020 endorsed by the World Health Assembly in 2013.

This Plan was extended to 2030 and included new targets for the inclusion of mental health and psychosocial support in emergency preparedness plans, the integration of mental health into primary health care, and research on mental health.

Director of the Department of Mental Health and Substance Use at WHO, Dévora Kestel, expressed confidence that with the new target, countries would put in the necessary efforts to achieve them. She said:

“The new data from the Mental Health Atlas shows us that we still have a very long way to go in making sure that everyone, everywhere, has access to quality mental health care.

“But I am encouraged by the renewed vigour that we saw from governments as the new targets for 2030 were discussed and agreed and am confident that together we can do what is necessary to move from baby steps to giant leaps forward in the next 10 years”, said Kestel.

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