Mental Health Policies

A mental health policy is a document issued by the government or the Ministry of Health that outlines the country's goals for improving mental health, the priorities among those goals, and the key paths to achieving those goals. It could consist of the following elements: Advocacy for mental health goals, such as mental well-being, prevention of mental disorders, treatment of mental disorders, and rehabilitation, in order to enable mentally ill people attain optimal social and psychological functioning.

Only 62.1% of countries have a mental health policy, accounting for 68.3 % of the global population. Approximately half of the African countries do not have a mental health policy in place. In low-income, lower-middle-income, upper-middle-income, and high-income countries, mental health policies are prevalent in 51%, 70%, 68%, and 70%, respectively. Most countries' mental health policies include the majority of broad topics, including treatment (98.1%), prevention (95.3%), rehabilitation (93.4%), promotion (91.4%), and advocacy (91.4%). (80.4%). Other aspects of intersectoral collaboration, social assistance, human resource development, and improving facilities for the disadvantaged were also addressed in several countries' policies (e.g., Maoris in New Zealand).

Many industrialised countries, including the Scandinavian countries, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand, have national mental health policies that are comprehensive. Some countries without a national mental health policy may still have good mental health services; for example, some European countries lack a stated policy but have well-developed action plans, while others, such as the United States, have a state or provincial-level policy rather than a national-level policy. On the other side, it's possible that a country that has a mental health policy hasn't fully executed it.

Mental health promotion must be integrated into government and business policies in areas such as education, labour, justice, transportation, the environment, housing, and welfare, as well as the health sector.

•    Intersectorial methods have a big role in mental health promotion. 
•    Early childhood treatments are one method to boost mental health.
•    Assistance to children through skill-building initiatives 
•    Women's socioeconomic empowerment
•    Social assistance for the elderly
•    Programs for minorities, indigenous peoples, migrants, and people affected by conflicts and disasters
•    School-based efforts to promote mental health
•    Workplace mental health initiatives
•    Policies on housing
•    Programs to prevent violence
•    Community-building initiatives

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