Experts urge U.N. to address mental health

January 20, 2012

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Mental illness and drug abuse can wreak havoc in global societies and economies, and the U.N. General Assembly should devote a special session to the matter, global health experts said on Tuesday.

Every country in the world is affected by the burden of mental, neurological and substance-use disorders (MNS), but often sufferers face discrimination and human rights abuse, said the article in PLoS Medicine.

“The time has come for recognition at the highest levels of global development, namely the U.N. General Assembly, of the urgent need for a global strategy to address the global burden of MNS disorders,” the article said.

Lead authors were Vikram Patel from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Judith Bass from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in the United States.

Investment is needed in three key areas: expanding knowledge about mental health disorders, better access to evidence-based programs of care and treatment, and protection of human rights.

A list of key needs to be addressed and steps to take could be enshrined in a “People’s Charter for Mental Health” accounting for input from policymakers, families, researchers and other advocates.

The article said neuropsychiatric disorders would account for the loss of some $16.1 trillion globally over the next two decades, with “dramatic impacts on productivity and quality of life,” particularly as the population ages.

Facebook Comments

You may be interested

Five things I learned while watching the sun set over El Clásico
Soccer
636 views
Soccer
636 views

Five things I learned while watching the sun set over El Clásico

Alejandro Zúñiga - October 22, 2018

TIBÁS — It’s difficult to enjoy a spectacular sunset while the concrete grandstand of a 50-year-old stadium shakes haphazardly under…

The Tico Times Weekly Digest: Oct. 22, 2018
Tico Times Weekly Digest
328 views
Tico Times Weekly Digest
328 views

The Tico Times Weekly Digest: Oct. 22, 2018

Alexander Villegas - October 22, 2018

It's Monday everyone. That means it's time for another dose of The Tico Times Weekly Digest. This week's Digest is…

This week in the Peace Corps: Lessons from indigenous communities in Limón province
Changemakers
750 views
Changemakers
750 views

This week in the Peace Corps: Lessons from indigenous communities in Limón province

Crystal / Regional Peace Corps Leader - October 22, 2018

After four years with Peace Corps Costa Rica, I am reflective about living and working in indigenous communities throughout Limón…