Ensuring Mental Health is part of SDG and UHC plans: how can we best influence policy makers using the high level meetings in 2019

The Blue Print Group is a group of mental health stakeholders who share information and work together to advocate for increased political and financial support for mental health. Coordinated by United for Global Mental Health (UnitedGMH), the Blue Print group was established to promote a collaborative approach to advocacy efforts for mental health.

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Universal Health Care (UHC) is defined by the World Health Organization as follows “Universal health coverage (UHC) means that all people and communities can use the promotive, preventive, curative, rehabilitative and palliative health services they need, of sufficient quality to be effective, while also ensuring that the use of these services does not expose the user to financial hardship.” UHC is also one of the targets of the SDGs and the theme of the WHD this year, hence 2019 is the year to advocate for UHC given that mental health is an integral component of UHC.


  • Fahmy Hanna (Moderator and WHO Technical Officer)
  • Eliana Monteforte (UHC2030 Civil Society Engagement Mechanism)
  • Tarun Dua (WHO Medical Officer)
  • Priya Kanayson (NCD Alliance)
  • James Sale (United for Global Mental Health)

Key messages:

  • The 2018 UN Political Declaration included mental health as one of main conditions when talking about NCD prevention and control, which helped to solidify a call to action calling for better integration of mental health and NCD agendas- we need to drive forward that integration agenda
  • Ensure that UHC policies are inclusive and equitable and no one is left behind
  • Primary care is a cornerstone for a sustainable health system and is an essential part of UHC and true when we think about mental health integration
  • Importance for linking NCDs and mental health and advocating for an integrated approach to UHC, calling for integration of mental health and NCDs at all stages of UHC beginning with strong primary health care and a multisectoral approach of whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach needed to integrate mental health into UHC systems
  • Mental health conditions are chronic and require multiple interfaces with a health system, have multi-morbidites as NCDs do not occur in isolation and occur at any stage of life. This necessitates a comprehensive approach spanning continuum of care which UHC can provide to ensure we are not focusing on solely treatment and care but also on full spectrum of care

Opportunities and recommendations

  1. Strengthen multi-stakeholder policy dialogue and coordination of health system strengthening efforts in countries and build political momentum around shared global vision of health system strengthening and UHC
  2. Make commitments and hold governments accountable for these commitments, UHC cannot be successful without strong political commitment at the highest level
  3. Work collaboratively and collectively in order to integrate mental health into UHC amongst various stakeholders, we need to shift global advocacy into action at country level to serve the population we are accountable for

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