Mental health

First WHO Ministerial Conference on Global Action Against Dementia

Cathy Greenblat

On 16 and 17 March 2015, WHO will be hosting its first Ministerial Conference on Global Action Against Dementia. Ministers from around the world, as well as experts from the research, clinical and NGO communities, will come together in Geneva for the first time to discuss the global problems posed by dementia.

The conference is supported by the Department of Health of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Both days will be webcast.

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.

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

Thinking healthy


This manual outlines an evidence-based approach describing how community health workers can reduce prenatal depression through evidence-based cognitive-behavioural techniques recommended by the mhGAP programme.

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.

WHO MIND Project