The World Health Organization（WHO）has again extended mental health Action Plan from 2020 to 2030 to help provide new opportunity for progress, for countries that failed to meet up with 2020 targets。
The World Health Organization’s new Mental Health Atlas paints a disappointing picture of a worldwide failure to provide people with the mental health services they need, at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic is highlighting a growing need for mental health support.
The latest edition of the Atlas, which includes data from 171 countries, provides a clear indication that the increased attention given to mental health in recent years is yet to result in a scale-up of quality mental services that is aligned with needs.
Issued every three years, the Atlas is a compilation of data provided by countries around the world on mental health policies, legislation, financing, human resources, availability and utilization of services and data collection systems. It is also the mechanism for monitoring progress towards meeting the targets in WHO’s Comprehensive Mental Health Action Plan.
The WHO Director General, Dr.Tedros Adhanom Ghebryesus in a press release issued in Abuja noted “It is extremely concerning that, despite the evident and increasing need for mental health services, which has become even more acute during the COVID-19 pandemic, good intentions are not being met with investment. We must heed and act on this wake-up call and dramatically accelerate the scale-up of investment in mental health, because there is no health without mental health.”
In 2020, just 51% of WHO’s 194 Member States reported that their mental health policy or plan was in line with international and regional human rights instruments, way short of the 80% target. And only 52% of countries met the target relating to mental health promotion and prevention programmes, also well below the 80% target. The only 2020 target met was a reduction in the rate of suicide by 10%, but even then, only 35 countries said they had a stand-alone prevention strategy, policy or plan.
Dr. Ghebryesus also lamented that the percentage of government health budgets spent on mental health has scarcely changed during the last years, still hovering around 2% with just 39% of responding countries indicating that the necessary human resources had been allocated and 34% that the required financial resources had been provided.
He added that despite the reecomendation of WHO on systematic decentralization of mental health care to community settings only 25% of responding countries met all the criteria for integration of mental health into primary care.
”This is also reflected in the way that government funds to mental health are allocated, highlighting the urgent need for deinstitutionalization. More than 70% of total government expenditure on mental health was allocated to mental hospitals in middle-income countries, compared with 35% in high-income countries. This indicates that centralized mental hospitals and institutional inpatient care still receive more funds than services provided in general hospitals and primary health-care centres in many countries”.
More encouraging was the increase in countries reporting mental health promotion and prevention programmes, from 41% of Member States in 2014 to 52% in 2020. However, 31% of total reported programmes did not have dedicated human and financial resources, 27% did not have a defined plan, and 39% had no documented evidence of progress and/or impact.
He however announced that the Plan been extended to 2030 includes new targets for the inclusion of mental health and psychosocial support in emergency preparedness plans, the integration of mental health into primary health care, and research on mental health.