There are three main areas in the field of mental health: psychological distress, mental disorders and positive mental health. Mental health problems relate to a broad range of complex personal, social and environmental situations, and although they are extremely common in society, they are often misunderstood and stigmatised.
According to the World Health Organization, mental illnesses affect one in five people every year and one in three people in terms of prevalence across a persons lifetime. In many countries, especially developing countries, specialised care management is limited either because services do not exist or there is not sufficient provision to support the population.
Mental health needs should be more easily detected and supported by the professionals working with these populations. Through inclusive health services, enhanced information, education and advocacy efforts, people with mental health problems would be able to access the support they require and be more accepted by their families and communities. This is supported by article 25 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).
The information in this keylist highlights introductory resources, manuals, and regional perspectives with a focus on developing countries. It covers mental health in emergencies, child and adolescent mental health, and mental health and HIV and AIDS. We welcome your suggestions: please send comments or suggested additions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
"This paper examines current evidence regarding rates, risk factors, correlates and consequences of gender disparities in mental health. Gender is conceptualized as a structural determinant of mental health and mental illness that runs like a fault line, interconnecting with and deepening the disparities associated with other important socioeconomic determinants such as income, employment and social position"
"Mental health disorders represent a largely hidden, if not substantial proportion of the world's disease burden. They can often be neglected, especially in low and middle-income countries, many of which have no resources to tackle mental-health concerns. The Lancet Series on Global Mental Health draws together leading experts from the Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London, UK, The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK, and, WHO to highlight the gaps in mental-health services worldwide, and to formulate a clear call to action"
The Lancet, Volume 370, Issue 9590
This report provides the rationale and know-how on integrating mental health into primary health care. It outlines primary care for mental health in context and then presents primary care for mental health in practice, highlighting 12 case studies and key lessons learnt from specific countries. A detailed annex on the core functions of primary care workers is provided, as well as 10 core principles of mental health integration. This resource is useful to anyone interested in integrating mental health into primary care
This report presents information about maternal mental health and child health in developing countries. Summaries are given of the meeting presentations and discussions, as well as the main conclusions and recommendations. This resource is useful for people interested in maternal mental health and child health in developing countries
30 Jan - Feb 2008
This paper focuses upon integrating mental health into all development issues, including the MDGs. It presents mental health as an emerging development issue, highlights the vulnerability of persons with mental / psychosocial disabilities, and outlines mental health related to each millenium devleopment goal. It concludes by stating the response from the international community and makes recommendations for a way forward
UN(DESA)-WHO Policy Analysis
"This report on mental health and development is a call to action to all development stakeholders - governments, civil society, multilateral agencies, bilateral agencies, global partnerships, private foundations, academic and research institutions - to focus their attention on mental health
The report presents compelling evidence that persons with mental and psychosocial disabilities are a vulnerable group but continue to be marginalized in terms of development aid and government attention. It makes the case for reaching out to this group through the design and implementation of appropriate policies and programmes and through the inclusion of mental health interventions into broader poverty reduction and development strategies. The report also describes a number of key interventions which can provide a starting point for these efforts. By investing in persons with mental and psychosocial disabilities, development outcomes can be improved"
This report presents information outlining "the ways in which mental health concerns intersect with women’s reproductive health. It includes a discussion of the bio-psycho-social factors that increase vulnerability to poor mental health, those that might be protective and the types of programmes that could mitigate adverse effects and promote mental health." This review is useful for public health professionals, planners, policy makers and programme managers to raise awareness of mental health aspects of women’s reproductive health
This report "represents the latest estimate of global mental health resources available to prevent and treat mental disorders and help protect the human rights of people living with these conditions. It presents data from 184 WHO Member States, covering 98% of the world’s population. Facts and figures presented in Atlas indicate that resources for mental health remain inadequate. The distribution of resources across regions and income groups is substantially uneven and in many countries resources are extremely scarce. Results from Atlas reinforce the urgent need to scale up resources and care for mental health within countries"
This website contains many resources relating to the inter-relationship between mental health, poverty and development. It contains useful resources, information sheets, publications, journal and conference databases, key organisations and contacts, press releases and media coverage of the issues
This report presents an action plan to scale up services for mental, neurological and substance use disorders for countries, especially low and lower middle income countries. It describes the mhGAP programme, outlines framework for country action and emphasises the building of partnerships. This resource is useful for people interested in scaling up services for mental health in developing countries
This paper presents the findings of a review of the literature on the mental health support needs of people with physical impairments. It is divided into two main parts: a review of research literature concerned with psychology, psychiatry and rehabilitation services; and a review of what is known about the mental health support needs and experiences of people with physical impairments from a social model perspective
This manual provides "evidence-based information to health care professionals in primary health care, especially in low- and middle-income countries, to be able to provide pharmacological treatment to persons with mental disorders. The manual contains basic principles of prescribing followed by chapters on medicines used in psychotic disorders; depressive disorders; bipolar disorders; generalised anxiety and sleep disorders; obsessive-compulsive disorders and panic attacks; and alcohol and opioid dependence"
This study examines the extent of the gap between the high prevalence of mental disorders and the great number of individuals with psychiatric disorders who remain untreated, even though effective treatments exist. The study uses results from 37 studies on service utilisation worldwide and presents examples of the estimation of the treatment gap for WHO regions are presented. The treatment gaps are universally large but vary from region to region. The abstract to this report is given in French, Spanish and Arabic
This video provides an overview of the global mental health situation with detailed information and statistics. It highlights the mental health Gap Action Programme (mhGAP) which is an WHO initiative that advocates for proper care, psychosocial assistance, and medication in limited resource settings for the treatment of depression, schizophrenia, and epilepsy and for the prevention of suicide
"The chapters and annexes of this book contain many examples of diverse experiences and practices, as well as extracts of laws and other law-related documents from different countries. These examples do not represent recommendations or 'models' to be replicated; rather, they are designed to illustrate what different countries are doing in the area of mental health, human rights and legislation
Three key elements of effective legislation are outlined: context, content and process - In other words, the 'why', 'what' and 'how' of mental health legislation. In addition, Annex 1 contains a Checklist on Mental Health Legislation, which can be used in conjunction with the Resource Book"
Child and adolescent mental health
The information gathered for the child and adolescent mental health ATLAS was collected through a survey instrument designed specifically to gain information on youth services, training activities, and providers resources in all regions of the world. The primary purposes of the report were to stimulate additional data gathering in a systematic fashion and to encourage the development of needed child and adolescent mental health policy, services and training.
Contents: 1. Introduction 2. Methods and limitations 3. Rights of the child and adolescent 4. Policy and programmes 5. Information systems 6. Need for services 7. Service system gaps 8. Integration of services 9. Barriers to care 10. Care providers 11. Training for care 12. Financing of care 13. Availability and use of medication 14. The future 15. References
This report presents updated information useful for the formulation of a child and adolescent mental health care plan. The plan is based on the magnitude of the burden of child and adolescent mental disorders; advances made in treatment and diagnosis; barriers to treatment; and trends in care for children and adolescents with mental disorders
Contents: 1. Context of child and adolescent mental health 2. Developing a child and adolescent mental health policy 3. Developing a child and adolescent mental health plan 4. Implementation of child and adolescent mental health policies and plans 5. Barriers and solutions
Note: This module is part of a guidance package that consists of a series of interrelated user-friendly modules that are designed to address the wide variety of needs and priorities in mental health policy development and service planning. Its recommended for use by policy makers, service planners representatives or associations of families and carers of people with mental disorders
This factsheet is written for young people who have had experience of mental illness or who are caring for someone with mental illness. It covers causes and types of mental illness including depression, manic depression, postnatal depression, anxiety, phobias, obsessions, eating problems, anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, overeating and schizophrenia. Although written for a UK audience, much of the information is relevant to readers in the South
This book deals with practical advice on health care for women with disabilities. It has been developed in partnership with health care professionals and disabled women in over 42 countries. It covers the key issues of disability in the community; accessible health care; mental health; sexual health; family planning; and child birth. The book is written in a practical and accessible style, suitable for anyone with an interest in disability, social development and women's health issues. In particular, the book offers a valuable insight into 'real-life' personal experiences of disabled women
The aim of this training manual is to build the capacity of community health workers in the field of mental health so that they are able to effectively respond to the mental health needs of their communities. By the conclusion of the training, participants will be able to: * Recognise symptoms of mental disorders. * Respond appropriately to people experiencing symptoms of mental disorders. * Refer people experiencing possible mental disorders to appropriate services. * Support people with mental disorders and their families. * Promote mental health within their communities. The manual provides a step by step guide to facilitating each training session and contains information on teaching methods, training tips and the aims and objectives of each session. It was developed and piloted in consultation with the Village Health Workers at the Comprehensive Rural Health Project, Jamkhed, Maharashtra, India
This manual "has been developed for use in the field in order to train animators who work with children and other child protection programme staff...The modules in this manual have been grouped according to the following 3 categories: 1. Facilitating a training, 2. Basic concepts for intervention, 3. Animator’s competencies. Each module is laid out under the following headings: What is it? Why is it useful? How can I use it?"
"This training manual is meant to be used first and foremost by trainers within the ACT-network who have attended a training of psychosocial trainers workshop. The aim of the training manual is to serve as a resource for field workers to develop, facilitate and conduct their own psychosocial workshops within their specific work or regional context. It is not a comprehensive source of information about psychosocial issues. It is a trainer's guide for developing locally appropriate training"
This manual was created for users and survivors of psychiatry, and user/survivor organisations, as an information guide and reference for working with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. It specifically highlights aspects of the Convention that pertain to the human rights abuses of users and survivors of psychiatry. This tool is designed to advocate for the implementation of legislation in line with the Convention
"The toolkit begins with a general introduction that sets the stage for mental health and psychosocial interventions in the context of conflict affected populations. A discussion of programming issues then follows which is then followed by two sections that outline the steps to take to operationalise mental health and psychosocial interventions"
This handbook is "designed to be used as training support handbook for helping professionals in the Somali context. The focus is on psychosocial needs for the rehabilitation of persons with trauma, mental health related forms of distress and those who have experienced gender based violence and gender related abuses. The guidelines, developed within a UNHCR funded programme in Somalia, are intended to assist staffs, who are concerned with providing protection and assistance to refugees and IDP"
"The WHO mental health policy and service guidance package consists of the WHO mental health policy and plan checklists, and 14 interrelated modules...The package consists of a series of interrelated user-friendly modules that are designed to address the wide variety of needs and priorities in policy development and service planning. The topic of each module represents a core aspect of mental health"
This report presents a BasicNeeds international training programme on development-oriented psychological care for communities affected by the tsunami and other disasters. Details are provided about the training programmes, the evaluations, the follow-up and achievements. Case studies and an analysis of the experience are highlighted. This resource is useful for practitioners interested in the development-oriented psychological care for communities affected by the tsunami and other disasters
This is a practical manual about mental health care, aimed at community health workers, primary care nurses, social workers and primary care doctors. It describes more than 30 clinical problems associated with mental illness, using a problem-solving approach to guide the reader through their assessment and management. It addresses the lack of understanding of mental health among many health workers
The WHO QualityRights tool kit has been developed to support countries in assessing and improving the quality and human rights of their mental health and social care facilities. The tool kit is based on an extensive international review by people with mental disabilities and their organizations. It has been pilot-tested in low-, middle- and high-income countries and is designed to be applied in all of these resource settings
The two papers contained in this working paper are concerned with the validation of social capital and adult mental health measures in Vietnam
This is a report of a situation analysis of mental health policy in South Africa, one of the four African countries involved in the wider Mental Health and Poverty Project
The report describes the broad context in which mental health policy making takes place; provides an assessment of the wider policy-making practices in the public sector in South Africa; describes and analyses the development of mental health policies and mental health law; and evaluates the involvement of stakeholders and their influence on the formulation of mental health policies and mental health law
Furthermore the report investigates the factors necessary for the effective implementation of mental health policies at three levels of social organisation: the macro (or national) level; the meso level (which corresponds to the provincial level) and the micro (or district) level. The project wishes to assess best practice with regard to the development of mental health policies and mental health law and the translation of these into strategic implementation plans at the macro, meso and micro levels
This report presents the findings of a survey exploring the nature and extent of counselling and therapeutic services in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. It is the first installment of an ongoing assessment of psycho-social/mental health care in the Palestinian Occupied Territories. It aims to identify the main obstacles, map the extent of institutional provision of services, identify principal learning and development needs, and gain a picture of the type of work and methods used. This resource would be useful for anyone with an interest in mental health and programme planning
This article describes the work of Handicap International in working with children and young people in Sierra Leone. It emphasises how the particular nature of different forms of torture created links between the children’s physical trauma and the psychological suffering. This article is useful for practitioners who are working with children and young people who have been the victims and perpetrators of violence
Humanitaire, No 9
This report provides an overview of the lessons learned from a Handicap International community-based mental health project for children and adolescents experiencing psychological suffering after the Rwandan genocide of the Tutsis. It highlights successes and limitations of the project, as well as recommendations for the project’s continuation. This report would be of interest to mental health practitioners, mental health service providers and community mental health organisations
This report is part of the National Disability Survey in Afghanistan. It aims to identify the number of Afghans with a disability, the barriers they face, and their access to rehabilitation services and other health provision. This report is inclusive of the needs of people with psycho-social disabilities and represents the first steps toward developing a systemic approach to health and disability provision in Afghanistan
Mental health in war and emergencies
This expansive facilitator's guide deals with psychosocial interventions concerning multiple causes of trauma such as HIV and AIDS and post-conflict situations. The guide offers technical advice to the implementor which is usefully augmented by diagrams, ideas for games and other useful interventions
This manual is a guide to psychosocial interventions to help people cope with the emotional effects of disasters. Some are direct responses to the trauma of disasters, while others are longer-term responses. Even more than the physical effects of disasters, the emotional effects cause long-lasting suffering, disability and loss of income
These guidelines provide information to organisations and individuals on how to respond during humanitarian emergencies by highlighting eleven specific action sheets that offer practical guidance on mental health and psychosocial support. The guidelines include a matrix of interventions with guidance for emergency planning, actions to be taken in the early stages of an emergency, and comprehensive responses needed in the recovery and rehabilitation phases. This resource is gives humanitarian actors useful inter-agency, inter-sectoral guidance and tools for responding effectively in the midst of emergencies
This report examines the implications for children's development and mental health of malnutrition and reduced psychosocial stimulation. It looks at how to promote positive child development, prevention strategies, combined nutrition and stimulation programmes and the benefit of such programmes being community or home-based
People affected by a catastrophe like the tsunami of 26 December 2004 are exposed to extreme stressors which represent risks to mental health. It is estimated that the tsunami caused an increase in mental disorders of between five and ten per cent. This document describes the types of mental health problems which are found in the tsunami-affected area and makes recommendations for interventions
A large number of people are exposed to extreme stressors that are a risk factor for mental health and social problems. This report describes principles and strategies that can be applied in resource poor settings where there are people who have been exposed to extreme stressors, such as refugees, internally displaced persons, disaster survivors and populations exposed to terrorism, genocide or war
This article describes the Butterfly peace garden initiative, an innovative after-school programme for 600 war-affected children in Sri Lanka. The programme offers creative play activities and ethnic reconciliation, integrated with opportunities for trauma healing through art-based processes. The article discusses the programme's similarities with and differences from community-based rehabilitation and deals with the controversial issues of the pathology of militarised violence at a societal level, mental illness paradigms such as post-traumatic stress disorder and the appropriateness of Western counselling approaches
Mental health and HIV and AIDS
"Traditionally, HIV prevention focuses on individual behaviours that place one at risk for HIV infection. Less widely regarded as a fundamental public health issue is parental depression and the detrimental effects it exerts on infant and child development, as well as its key contribution to non-fatal burden. Much like many HIV prevention and treatment interventions, programmes for depression focus almost exclusively on individuals and individual behaviour. This paper will use the extensive evidence base from research into parental depression as a model to argue for a family based approach to HIV prevention and treatment. The aim of this will be to make a case for targeting a broader set of behaviours that occur within families when developing and implementing interventions"
This article looks at the impact of HIV on people living with permanent physical, sensory, intellectual, or mental health disability. In particular, it considers whether AIDS messages reach disabled populations and the inequity of access to health care that they face
The Center for the Human Rights of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry (CHRUSP) provides strategic leadership in human rights advocacy, implementation and monitoring relevant to people experiencing madness, mental health problems or trauma. Their website provides information about the organisation’s activities, highlights thematic good practices, and provides links to their publications, videos and related resources
Disability Rights International aims to protect the rights of people with mental disabilities through awareness raising of living conditions for children and adults with disabilities and through advocating for legislation to protect their rights. This website would be useful to people with an interest in human rights, legal reform, disability and development
The International Association for Suicide Prevention is dedicated to preventing suicidal behaviors, alleviating its effects and providing a forum for academics, mental health professionals, crisis workers, volunteers and suicide survivors. This website provides information about the organisation and links to it’s activities, newsletters, publications and related resources. A login feature is available for the association members
MindFreedom International is a nonprofit organisation that unites 100 sponsor and affiliate grassroots groups with individual members to advocate for human rights and alternatives for people labeled with psychiatric disabilities. This website provides an overview of their campaigns, members, directories of membership, as well as links to related events, news and resources
The National Empowerment Center aims to help individuals and groups develop the knowledge and ability to transform the mental health service system toward a more recovery-oriented and consumer-and family-driven approach. The website contains information about the center, a listing of consumer-run organisation and advocacy groups in all 50 states, and links to related resources and events. This website is useful to people interested in mental health
The Law Project for Psychiatric Rights (PsychRights) is a non-profit public interest law firm that undertakes a coordinated, strategic, legal effort seeking to end the abuses against people diagnosed with mental illness through individual legal representation. This website provides background information about the organisation and related research, as well as an overview of personal stories and both US and international contextual information
The Mental Health Foundation is a mental health research, policy and service improvement organisation. This website features detailed mental health resources through their A-Z information on mental health problems, issues, treatments and options. Links to their publications, newsletter, podcasts, news archieve and blog are provided. This website is useful for people interested in mental health in the UK
The World network of users and survivors of psychiatry is a global forum and voice of users and survivors of psychiatry to promote their rights and interests. This website contains specific information about the network, human rights and advocacy issues, and the WNUSP newsletter