Integrating mental health care: New series

April 30, 2013

The first article in a landmark series to help health care workers and providers, donors, and decision makers understand the importance of including mental health care in global health programs is being published in this week's PLOS Medicine.

Giving a global perspective on integrating mental health into health services around the world, the series focuses on mental, neurological, and substance use (MNS) disorders. Although these disorders account for an increasing burden of disease, affected people often lack access to mental health care in high-, middle-, and low-income countries.

The authors, led by Pamela Collins from the National Institute of Mental Health in the US, explain that the goal of the series is to help achieve a in Global Mental Health: "redesign health systems to integrate MNS disorders with other chronic-disease care, and create parity between mental and in investment into research, training, treatment, and prevention."''

In this first introductory article, the authors explain the need for integration. They say: "The evidence demonstrating that there truly is ''no health without mental health'' continues to grow, and the links between HIV and depression, cardiovascular disease and , diabetes and depression—as well as other conditions—suggest that the best outcomes for these disorders require care that attends to all of them."

The authors argue that achieving desired outcomes for priority health programs will be difficult without managing MNS disorders and advocate for packages of care for MNS disorders in combination with effective interventions in primary care or other priority health delivery platforms.

According to the authors, integration of care for MNS disorders with care for other conditions can occur through assimilation of activities, policies, and organizational structures at local, national, and global levels.

The authors conclude: "In the five-part series providing a global perspective on integrating mental health, we aim to help health care providers, donors, and decision makers understand the importance of including in global , identify entry points for integration, select interventions to be introduced into existing health services, and take steps toward action."

The five articles providing a global perspective on integrating mental health will be published weekly in PLOS Medicine beginning 30 April 2013.

Explore further: International health experts call for a special UN session on mental health

More information: Collins PY, Insel TR, Chockalingam A, Daar A, Maddox YT (2013) Grand Challenges in Global Mental Health: Integration in Research, Policy, and Practice. PLoS Med 10(4): e1001434. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001434

Related Stories

International health experts call for a special UN session on mental health

January 17, 2012
A group of international health experts has called for a special session of the United Nations (referred to as UNGASS - United Nations General Assembly Special Session) to focus global attention on mental, neurological, and ...

Top global challenges in mental health identified

July 6, 2011
Mental health experts are calling for a greater world focus on improving access to care and treatment for mental, neurological, and substance use (MNS) disorders, as well as increasing discoveries in research that will enable ...

New approach to screen pregnant women for mental health disorders

May 29, 2012
A new model of care for screening and treating women around the time of childbirth for mental health disorders shows promise according to researchers from South Africa reporting in this week's PLoS Medicine as part of the ...

Community and health system approaches improves mental health in Afghanistan

May 29, 2012
"Treatment of mental disorders within the health care system needs to be accompanied by a community-based approach that focuses on psychosocial problems," say the authors of a case study from Afghanistan published in this ...

Breaking the cycle: Studies show improving mental health status helps improve financial status

October 16, 2011
The first paper in The Lancet Series on Global Mental Health reviews the negative cycle of interaction between mental ill health and poverty in low-income and middle-income countries (LMIC). A review of published work shows ...

Recommended for you

To pick a great gift, it's better to give AND receive

July 28, 2017
If it's the thought that makes a gift count, here's a thought that can make your gift count extra: Get a little something for yourself.

Researchers crack the smile, describing three types by muscle movement

July 27, 2017
The smile may be the most common and flexible expression, used to reveal some emotions, cover others and manage social interactions that have kept communities secure and organized for millennia.

Ketamine for depression encouraging, but questions remain around long-term use

July 27, 2017
A world-first systematic review into the safety of ketamine as a treatment for depression, published in the prestigious Lancet Psychiatry, shows the risks of long-term ketamine treatment remain unclear.

Even babies can tell who's the boss, UW research says

July 27, 2017
The charismatic colleague, the natural leader, the life of the party - all are personal qualities that adults recognize instinctively. These socially dominant types, according to repeated studies, also tend to accomplish ...

DREAMers at greater risk for mental health distress

July 27, 2017
Immigrants who came to the United States illegally as small children and who meet the requirements of the Development Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act, more commonly known as DREAMers, are at risk for mental health ...

Negativity, be gone—new online tool can retrain your brain

July 27, 2017
Anxiety and depression can have devastating effects on people's lives. In some cases, the mental disorders lead to isolation, poverty and poor physical health, things that often cascade to future generations.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.