Mental health

WHO Programme on Reducing the Epilepsy Treatment Gap

Epilepsy: Treat it. Defeat it.

More than 50 million people worldwide have epilepsy. To help defeat the disorder, the WHO Programme on Reducing the Epilepsy Treatment Gap seeks to expand the skills of primary care, non-specialist health care providers to diagnose, treat and follow up with people with epilepsy. The Programme engages in health system strengthening, improving the availability of antiepileptic medicines and raising awareness about epilepsy. The Programme is currently being implemented in 4 countries: Ghana, Mozambique, Myanmar and Viet Nam.

Responding to the Ebola mental health crisis

WHO/C.Black

Ebola-affected communities in West Africa are experiencing intense fear and suffering. People are separated from loved ones due to illness or death. Health workers deal with risks to their own health. Those associated with Ebola are often victims of severe social stigma, increasing their levels of distress and isolation.
In response, WHO has sent leading public mental health experts to the affected countries, and adapted and disseminated its psychological first-aid guide for Ebola and related training materials.

First WHO World Suicide Report

Over 800 000 people die by suicide every year – that’s one person every 40 seconds. Yet these deaths are preventable.

In WHO’s first suicide report “Preventing suicide: a global imperative” information is included on what is known about suicide across the world, groups at particular risk of suicide, and what can be done at both societal and individual level to reduce the number of deaths from suicide.

MiNDbank – national policies, strategies and laws from around the world

This new online platform brings together key international resources and national policies, strategies, laws and service standards for mental health, substance abuse, general health, disability, human rights and development.

MiNDbank will facilitate debate, dialogue, advocacy and research in order to promote national reform in line with international human rights and best practice standards.

Launch of the Mental Health Action Plan 2013-2020

Dr Margaret Chan, the WHO Director-General, described the new Comprehensive Mental Health Action Plan 2013–2020 as a landmark achievement: it focuses international attention on a long-neglected problem and is firmly rooted in the principles of human rights. The action plan calls for changes. It calls for a change in the attitudes that perpetuate stigma and discrimination that have isolated people since ancient times, and it calls for an expansion of services in order to promote greater efficiency in the use of resources.

Highlights

WHO Mental Health Gap Action Programme (mhGAP)

The WHO Mental Health Gap Action Programme (mhGAP) aims at scaling up services for mental, neurological and substance use disorders for countries especially with low and middle income.

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