Mental health

Maternal and child mental health

Maternal mental health

Worldwide about 10% of pregnant women and 13% of women who have just given birth experience a mental disorder, primarily depression. In developing countries this is even higher, i.e. 15.6% during pregnancy and 19.8% after child birth. In severe cases mothers’ suffering might be so severe that they may even commit suicide. In addition, the affected mothers cannot function properly. As a result, the children’s growth and development may be negatively affected as well. Maternal mental disorders are treatable. Effective interventions can be delivered even by well-trained non-specialist health providers.

Child and adolescent mental health

Worldwide 10-20% of children and adolescents experience mental disorders. Neuropsychiatric conditions are the leading cause of disability in young people in all regions. If untreated, these conditions severely influence children’s development, their educational attainments and their potential to live fulfilling and productive lives.

Latest publications

Mental Health Atlas 2014

With data from 171 of WHO’s Member States, Mental Health Atlas 2014 provides a comprehensive overview of mental health policies, plans and services worldwide.

Promoting rights and community living for children with psychosocial disabilities

This joint WHO/Gulbenkian publication provides guidance on services and supports required to end institutionalization of children and ensure that they can live and thrive in the community.

WHO MIND Project