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Community Mental Health Services Will Lessen Social Exclusion

Armen Hareyan's picture

The World Health Organization signalled the urgent need for countries to provide a network of community mental health services at its Global Forum for Community Mental Health.

For the first time, WHO invited people living with mental disorders to attend the Forum, sending a message to countries that it is important to give a voice to this excluded group to claim their rights and secure their participation in society.

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"Not only are community mental health services more accessible to people living with severe mental disabilities, these are also more effective in taking care of their needs compared to mental hospitals. Community mental health services are also likely to have less possibilities for neglect and violations of human rights, which are too often encountered in mental hospitals" said Dr Benedetto Saraceno, Director of the WHO Mental Health and Substance Abuse.

There are nearly 54 million people around the world with severe mental disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar affective disorder (manic-depressive illness),. In addition, 154 million people suffer from depression. People living in developing countries are disproportionately affected. Mental disorders are increasingly prevalent in developing countries, the consequence of persistent poverty-driven conditions, the demographic transition, conflicts in fragile states and natural disasters. At the same time, more than 50% of developing countries do not provide any care for persons with mental disorders in the community. These disorders bring significant hardship not only to those who suffer from them, but also to their caregivers -- often the family, given the lack of mental health resources found in developing countries. As a result, 90% of people with epilepsy and more than 75% of people with major depressive disorder in developing countries are inadequately treated.

The call for community mental health services is especially timely since, in spite of a clear message from WHO in 2001, only a few countries have made adequate progress in this area. Also, in many countries, closing of mental hospitals is not accompanied by the development of community services, leaving a service vacuum.

"This topic should matter to everyone, because far too many people with mental disorders do not receive any care. The immediate challenge for low income countries is to use primary health care settings, particularly through community approaches that use low-cost, locally available resources to ensure appropriate care of these disorders" said Dr Catherine Le Gal



Mental disorder is a psychological pattern that occurs in an individual and cause disability that is not expected as part of normal development. Mental Health Services are provided at the level of emotional well-being or an absence of a mental disorder. So the World Health Organization [WHO] has done an appreciable task by providing a network of community mental health services at its Global Forum for Community Mental Health.
There is increased focus on using research evidence to guide clinical practice in the provision of child mental health services, to allocate resources and to make policy decisions. In the context of difficulties with random allocation a number of quasi-experimental designs are described that may more closely reflect actual clinical work. In the context of ecological theory, the importance of taking a systems level approach to evaluation is highlighted, with examples from the US. Finally, the ways in which qualitative outcomes measures can be used to sensitively describe the effects of treatment are outlined, and their potential for giving voice to children and families as consumers of mental health services. These suggestions aim to lessen the tension between the requirements of the scientific investigations of treatment effectiveness and the realities of clinicians' daily experience.
I have been on duloxetine now for about a year and I have been a lot better on this than venlafaxine. I also take Seroquel at night to help me sleep better. I still feel tired all the time, but I don't feel so depressed. _________________________ Find the latest news about Depression, Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia. Discuss Mood Disorders topics with members of the Health Community. <a href="http://www.manicdepression.us.com">Manic Depression News and Discussion Forum</a>