WHO’s Mental Health Global Action Programme (mhGAP)
To overcome barriers to closing the gap between resources and the need for treatment of mental disorders, and to reduce the number of years lived with disability and deaths associated with such disorders, the World Health Organization has created the Mental Health Global Action Programme (mhGAP) as part of a major effort to implement the recommendations of the World Health Report 2001 on mental health.
The programme is based on strategies aimed at improving the mental health of populations. To implement those strategies, WHO is undertaking different projects and activities, such as the Global Campaign against Epilepsy, the Global Campaign for Suicide Prevention, building national capacity to create a policy on alcohol use, and assisting countries in developing alcohol-related services. WHO is also developing guidelines for mental health interventions in emergencies, and for the management of depression, schizophrenia, alcohol-related disorders, drug use, epilepsy and other neurological disorders.
These projects are designed within a framework of activities which includes support to countries in monitoring their mental health systems, formulating policies, improving legislation and reorganizing their services. These efforts are largely focused on low- and middleincome countries, where the service gaps are the largest.
Investing in mental health today can generate enormous returns in terms of reducing disability and preventing premature death. The priorities are well known and the projects and activities needed are clear and possible. It is our responsibility to turn the possibilities to reality. Culled from WHO