The International Consortium on Mental Health Policy and Services: objectives, design and project implementation.

Int Rev Psychiatry 2004 Feb-May;16(1-2):5-17

Global Network for Research in Mental and Neurological Health, Lichtenstein, Germany.

The concept of the burden of disease, introduced and estimated for a broad range of diseases in the World Bank report of 1993 illustrated that mental and neurological disorders not only entail a higher burden than cancer, but are responsible, in developed and developing countries, for more than 15% of the total burden of all diseases. As a consequence, over the past decade, mental disorders have ranked increasingly highly on the international agenda for health. However, the fact that mental health and nervous system disorders are now high on the international health agenda is by no means a guarantee that the fate of patients suffering from these disorders in developing countries will improve. In most developing countries the treatment gap for mental and neurological disorders is still unacceptably high. To address this problem, an international network of collaborating institutions in low-income countries has been set up. The establishment and the achievements of this network--the International Consortium on Mental Health Policy and Services--are reported. Sixteen institutions in developing countries collaborate (supported by a small number of scientific resource centres in industrialized nations) in projects on applied mental health systems research. Over a two-year period, the network produced the key elements of a national mental health policy; provided tools and methods for assessing a country's current mental health status (context, needs and demands, programmes, services and care and outcomes); established a global network of expertise, i.e., institutions and experts, for use by countries wishing to reform their mental health policy, services and care; and generated guidelines and examples for upgrading mental health policy with due regard to the existing mental health delivery system and demographic, cultural and economic factors.

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http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/0954026031000163
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09540260310001635050DOI Listing
September 2004
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International Journal of Law and Mental Health 2000

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