WHO: 12% of world population affected by mental disorders
www.chinaview.cn 2008-10-10 19:14:00   Print

    MANILA, Oct. 10 (Xinhua) -- Mental disorders are affecting nearly 12 percent of the world's population, but mental health generally ranks low on the public health agenda, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday.

    Some 450 million people all over the world experience a mental illness that could benefit from diagnosis and treatment, WHO said in a statement.

A man is chained to a window frame in a center for the mentally ill in the eastern city of Jalalabad April 8, 2007.(Xinhua/Reuters File Photo)
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    Problems associated with mental illness and disorders will continue to rise unless more is done to tackle the issue and to reduce the burden of mental disorders, WHO said on this year's World Mental Health Day, observed Oct. 10 every year. The World Mental Health Day is aimed to promote mental health with the knowledge that the means exist to fight mental, neurological and substance-use disorders.

    This year's theme, "Advocacy for global mental health: scaling up services through citizen advocacy and action", is designed to raise awareness on what needs to be done so all people can have access to information, personalized treatment and resources to assist them in all aspects of their recovery.

    This month, WHO launched a Mental Health Gap Action Programme, which identifies strategies needed for scaling up mental health care using cost-effective interventions in resource-constrained settings. The program calls on all partners, including governments ,multilateral agencies, donors, public health organizations, mental health professionals and consumer groups, to join together for advocacy and action to make this happen.

    "We need to reinforce partnerships, accelerate efforts, scale up interventions, increase investments towards providing services to those who do not have any, and the political will to see all this through," said Dr. Shigeru Omi, WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific.

    Community and economic development can also be used to restore and enhance mental health, according to WHO.

    Community development programs that aim to reduce poverty, achieve economic independence and empowerment for women, reduce malnutrition, increase literacy and education, and empower the underpriviledged contribute to the prevention of mental and substance use disorders and promote health, said the doctor.

A man is chained to a window frame in a center for the mentally ill in the eastern city of Jalalabad April 8, 2007.

A man is chained to a window frame in a center for the mentally ill in the eastern city of Jalalabad April 8, 2007.(Xinhua/Reuters File Photo)
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Editor: Jiang Yuxia
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