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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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