There is a close relationship between mental health and other health and development issues. A broader, more holistic approach is required to go beyond the identification and treatment of mental conditions, by addressing the social and structural risk factors that drive them. Overly medicalised and institutionalised mental health systems require reform, and people with lived experience of mental illness must have a stronger voice in their personal recovery as well as the policies and practices that affect them. Building a more inclusive society for people with mental conditions and psychosocial disabilities may seem like a big undertaking, but there are many practical steps that policy-makers and practitioners can take to begin making change in the right direction.
Key Policy Recommendations:
Support the meaningful participation of people with lived experience of mental illness in the activities that affect them at the individual, service and systems levels
Ensure “no one is left behind” from the Sustainable Development Agenda by being explicit about including mental health in policy and programming within and beyond the health sector
Invest in cost-effective stepped care and recovery-oriented interventions to improve the quality and accessibility of mental health care while also improving compliance with human rights instruments
This policy brief was produced by the Mental Health Innovation Network for United for Global Mental Health with funding from the Wellcome Trust.
Photo Credit: Women carrying nets together, Lome, Togo © CBM International