The Lancet Commission on Global Mental Health and Sustainable Development, published on World Mental Health Day 2018, aims to bring scientific evidence alongside the moral case for appropriate prioritisation and investment to close three key gaps in mental health: access to care, quality of care, and prevention of mental health conditions. It celebrates the inclusion of mental health in the Sustainable Development Goals following a history of exclusion, highlighting the close links between mental health and virtually every major issue in development, from education and economic growth, to conflict and climate change. Accordingly, it calls for a more holistic understanding of mental health that necessitates a coordinated, multisectoral response.
This policy brief outlines seven key recommendations of the Lancet Commission to improve global mental health:
- Reframe mental health within the Sustainable Development Goal Framework
- Mental wellbeing is a universal attribute, and we need to think beyond just treating mental illness. Integrate mental health into development work across sectors, not just health services.
- Establish mental health care as a pillar of Universal Health Coverage
- Ensure that there is parity in investment and prioritisation for mental health care, and address gaps in accessibility and quality of services, with care being available at primary level.
- Use public policies to protect mental health
- Promote mental health and prevent illness by implementing targeted public health strategies at key stages in the life course, including in maternal and infant health, education and suicide.
- Listen to and engage people with lived experience
- Facilitate meaningful participation at all stages of development and implementation of services. Strengthen the advocacy voice of people affected to hold governments accountable.
- Invest far, far more in mental health
- Increase dedicated mental health funds to 5-10% of national or agency health budgets, and include mental health in funds for research and implementation in other sectors.
- Use research to guide innovation and implementation
- Invest in research, and make use of new evidence for service reform and improving population wellbeing - from neurosciences to implementation science.
- Strengthen monitoring and accountability
- Follow through on commitments to meet key development targets. Ensure mental health indicators are present in national health information systems and programme evaluation.
This policy brief was produced by the Mental Health Innovation Network for United for Global Mental Health with funding from the Wellcome Trust. It is based on the findings of The Lancet Commission on Global Mental Health and Sustainable Development. Lancet, 2018.
Visit The Lancet Commission Collaboration page