Mental health

Maternal and child mental health

Maternal mental health

Worldwide about 10% of pregnant women and 13% of women who have just given birth experience a mental disorder, primarily depression. In developing countries this is even higher, i.e. 15.6% during pregnancy and 19.8% after child birth. In severe cases mothers’ suffering might be so severe that they may even commit suicide. In addition, the affected mothers cannot function properly. As a result, the children’s growth and development may be negatively affected as well. Maternal mental disorders are treatable. Effective interventions can be delivered even by well-trained non-specialist health providers.

Child and adolescent mental health

Worldwide 10-20% of children and adolescents experience mental disorders. Neuropsychiatric conditions are the leading cause of disability in young people in all regions. If untreated, these conditions severely influence children’s development, their educational attainments and their potential to live fulfilling and productive lives.

Latest publications

mhGAP Humanitarian Intervention Guide (mhGAP-HIG)

This guide contains first-line management recommendations for mental, neurological and substance use conditions for non-specialist health-care providers. It is a simple, practical tool to support general health facilities in areas affected by humanitarian emergencies.

Thinking healthy

This manual outlines an evidence-based approach describing how community health workers can reduce prenatal depression through evidence-based cognitive-behavioural techniques recommended by the mhGAP programme.

WHO MIND Project