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Mental, neurological and substance use disorders are highly prevalent and burdensome globally. The gap between what is urgently needed and what is available to reduce the burden is still very wide.
WHO recognizes the need for action to reduce the burden, and to enhance the capacity of Member States to respond to this growing challenge. mhGAP is WHO’s action plan to scale up services for mental, neurological and substance use disorders for countries especially with low and lower middle incomes. The priority conditions addressed by mhGAP are: depression, schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders, suicide, epilepsy, dementia, disorders due to use of alcohol, disorders due to use of illicit drugs, and mental disorders in children. The mhGAP package consists of interventions for prevention and management for each of these priority conditions.
Successful scaling up is the joint responsibility of governments, health professionals, civil society, communities, and families, with support from the international community. The essence of mhGAP is building partnerships for collective action. A commitment is needed from all partners to respond to this urgent public health need and the time to act is now!