Mental health

MENTAL HEALTH EVIDENCE AND RESEARCH (MER)

The Mental Health: Evidence and Research team (MER) at WHO is deeply committed to closing the gap between what is needed and what is currently available to reduce the burden of mental disorders worldwide and to promote mental health. The MER team transforms this objective into action through the following core projects: Atlas, WHO-AIMS and Mental Health in Emergencies. All of these projects aim to increase the information and evidence base on mental health. In turn, this information can be used to strengthen mental health care systems which will result in better care and services to individuals and communities. Detailed information is provided on each of these projects through the links below.

CORE PROJECTS:

Mental Health Atlas

Mental Health Atlas Project is designed to collect and disseminate data on mental health resources such as policies, plans, financing, care delivery, human resources, medicines, and information systems in the world. The project started in 2001 and the data was updated in 2005 and 2011.

WHO-AIMS

The World Health Organization Assessment Instrument for Mental Health Systems (WHO-AIMS) is a new WHO tool for collecting essential information on the mental health system of a country or region. The goal of collecting this information is to improve mental health systems and to provide a baseline for monitoring the change.

Mental Health in Emergencies

The target group for WHO work on mental health in emergencies is any population exposed to extreme stressors, such as refugees, internally displaced persons, disaster survivors, and terrorism, or war-exposed populations. Click below for more information and resources on mental health in emergencies.

Key publications

Mental Health Atlas 2011

The WHO Mental Health Atlas 2011 represents the latest estimate of global mental health resources available to prevent and treat mental disorders and help protect the human rights of people living with these conditions. It presents data from 184 WHO Member States, covering 98% of the world’s population.

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