The World Health Organization (WHO) presented a final draft of a “Comprehensive Mental Health Action Plan 2013–2020” at the World Health Assembly which took place in Geneva from May 20-28, 2013. The draft plan, in consultation with Member States, follows the adopted resolution of May 2012 to consider a comprehensive, coordinated response from health and social sectors at the country level to address the global burden of mental disorders. The plan is designed to guide national action plans through a comprehensive and multi-sectoral approach to coordinated services with a focus on promotion, prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, care and recovery. It covers mental health as well as mental disorders and uses a human rights perspective.
The proposed actions include four objectives with global target measures and suggested roles for member states, international and national partners and the WHO secretariat. The objectives are:
- To strengthen effective leadership and governance for mental health;
- To provide comprehensive, integrated and responsive mental health and social care services in community-based settings;
- To implement strategies for promotion and prevention in mental health;
- To strengthen information systems, evidence and research for mental health.
The appendices include the indicators for measuring progress and options for implementation.
The Canadian Minister of Health stated her support of the development of the action plan on May 20, 2013. She mentioned the Mental Health Commission of Canada’s Mental Health Strategy (released last year) reflecting some of the WHO recommendations. As a possible future contribution to the action plan, Minister Aglukkaq will be prioritizing the development of initiatives that promote mental wellness in communities across the North, in her role representing Canada, and as Chair of the Arctic Council for the next two years.
See the “Draft comprehensive mental health action plan 2013-2020” available on the World Health Organization website.
You can also read, the “Statement to the World Health Assembly Plenary Session – the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq Minister of Health” on the Health Canada website.