Mental Health

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Mental Health

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Mental health refers to a broad array of activities directly or indirectly related to the mental well-being component included in the WHO's definition of health: "A state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease". It is related to the promotion of well-being, the prevention of mental disorders, and the treatment and rehabilitation of people affected by mental disorders.

Key publications...

Preventing Suicide: A Global ImperativePreventing Suicide: A Global Imperative cover



Suicide impacts on the most vulnerable of the world's populations and is highly prevalent in already marginalized and discriminated groups of society. It is not just a serious public health problem in developed countries; in fact, most suicides occur in low- and middle-income countries where resources and services, if they do exist, are often scarce and limited for early identification, treatment and support of people in need.

Global Status Report on Alcohol and Health 2014Global Status Report on Alcohol and Health 2014 cover



WHO has published several reports in the past on this topic with the last one being published in 2011, but this report of 2014 has some unique features.




Psychological First Aid: Facilitator's Manual for Orienting Field WorkersPsychological First Aid: Facilitator's Manual for Orienting Field Workers cover



This manual is designed to orient helpers to offer psychological first aid (PFA) to people following a serious crisis event. PFA involves humane, supportive and practical assistance for people who are distressed, in ways that respect their dignity, culture and abilities.


Building Back Better: Sustainable Mental Health Care after EmergenciesBuilding Back Better: Sustainable Mental Health Care after Emergencies cover



In spite of their tragic nature, and notwithstanding the human suffering they create, emergency situations are also opportunities to build better mental health care. The surge of aid, combined with sudden, focused attention on the mental health of the population, creates unparalleled opportunities to transform mental health care for the long term.

Assessing Mental Health and Psychosocial Needs and ResourcesAssessing Mental Health and Psychosocial Needs and Resources cover




Mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) is a term used to describe a wide range of actions that address social, psychological and psychiatric problems that are either pre-existing or emergency-induced.



Dementia: A Public Health PriorityDementia: A Public Health Priority cover



The objective of this report is to raise awareness of dementia as a public health priority, to articulate a public health approach and to advocate for action at international and national levels based on the principles of inclusion, integration, equity and evidence.


Psychological First Aid: Guide for Field Workers Psychological First Aid: A Guide for Field Workers cover



This guide - endorsed by many international agencies - reflects the emerging science and international consensus on how to support people in the immediate aftermath of extremely stressful events.



Mental Health Atlas 2011Mental Health Atlas 2011 cover



WHO's Project Atlas is aimed at collecting, compiling, and dessiminating information on global mental health resources. Atlas 2011 presents updated information from 184 WHO Member States on available resources for treatment and prevention of neuropsychiatric disorders globally, by WHO region, and by income group.


Mental Health Atlas 2011

Towards Evidence-based Suicide Prevention ProgrammesTowards Evidence-based Suicide Prevention Programmes cover



It is estimated that approximately 32% of all suicide deaths have occurred in the Western Pacific Region. Suicide rates in some countries/areas like Japan, the Republic of Korea and Taiwan, China have had significant increases recently and remained at historically high levels.