Mental health

Media centre

The key to continue the momentum on mental health is to step up advocacy efforts. Policy makers and the general public are only partly aware of the fact that mental disorders are common, cause a large amount of burden and effective treatment of most mental disorders is possible. The image of mental illness is incorrectly associated with images of violence and laziness rather than with suffering, marginalization and denial of basic rights.

Most health workers are not conversant with modern methods of treatment of mental illness and often do not possess the necessary skills to deal with it. Among them there are many who believe that the only way of dealing with mental illness is long term hospital care.

In the majority of countries, including developed ones, there is no parity of care for mental and physical illnesses. Stigma of mental illness gains strength from these misconceptions and reinforces them. Advocacy efforts are targeted to create a well-informed society on mental health and disorders.

Key publication

Mental Health Action Plan 2013-2020

The action plan recognizes the essential role of mental health in achieving health for all people. It aims to achieve equity through universal health coverage and stresses the importance of prevention.

Latest publications

Psychological First Aid for Ebola Virus Disease Outbreak


This guide focuses on psychological first aid, which involves humane, supportive and practical help to follow human beings suffering serious crisis events.

Preventing suicide: A global imperative


The report provides a global knowledge base on suicide and suicide attempts as well as actionable steps for countries based on their current resources and context to move forward in suicide prevention.

Integrating the response to mental health disorders and other chronic diseases in health care systems

Strong links exist between mental disorders and other chronic diseases, not only with respect to their causes and consequences, but also in terms of their prevention and management.

WHO MIND Project