Mental health

Countries in action for mental health

WHO is working alongside governments, NGOs, national academic and research experts as well as international partners in order to support an increasing number of countries to: improve access to high quality mental health treatment and care for depression, epilepsy, schizophrenia and substance abuse; and tackle rising suicide rates in many parts of the world.

Key messages and actions WHO is promoting are as follows:

  • Stop the human rights violations in mental health facilities through monitoring and improving human rights conditions in mental health facilities;
  • Develop mental health laws which respect human rights, promote adequate health care, and stop social exclusion;
  • Put in place mental health policies and strategic plans that enable national authorities to prioritise and coordinate all mental health actions in the country so as to maximise positive outcomes for people with mental illness and the communities in which they live;
  • Provide appropriate treatment, care and support through better mental health services and the mobilisation of untapped community resources. In this way, people with mental disabilities can receive the treatment they require in order to live normal and productive lives;
  • Advocate for better recognition and action for mental health in international and national development agendas and programmes.

WHO Country Profiles: Mental Health in Development (WHO proMIND)

The WHO Mental Health in Development Country Profiles (WHO proMIND) outline some of WHO's mental health work in countries. Each profile documents key mental health needs and challenges within the country's political, economic and health context. They also describe the mental health services that are available in each country in the context of the overall health services and system. Additionally, they include a summary of the major milestones and progress made in mental health.


Contact details

Mental health policy and service development

Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, WHO Geneva.

The Pacific Islands Mental Health Network (PIMHNet)

'Minding the Pacific'

18 Pacific Island countries adopting innovative programmes to improve mental health.

Latest publications

Improving health systems and services for mental health

This document presents an integrated strategy for mental health system development.