Mental health

Improving access and appropriate use of medicines for mental disorders

WHO and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation

Publication details

Number of pages: 96
Publication date: 2017
Languages: English
ISBN: 978 92 4 151142 1



Access to essential medicines for mental disorders at all levels of the health system remains a particular challenge in many low- and middle-income countries. Access to medicines for mental disorders (or psychotropic medicines) encompasses rational selection, availability, affordability and appropriate use of those medicines.

This report, based on a consultative process and extensive literature reviews, provides information to improve access to essential medicines for mental disorders. It examines current barriers to access to psychotropic medicines and identifies key actions for overcoming those barriers, organized as a function of four access components – selection, availability, affordability, appropriate use. Further, it provides evidence-based guidance for appropriate use of medicines in people with mental disorders.