Competitive Exams: Current Affairs 2011: Mental Health

Mental Health

  • The WHO's new mental health Gap Action Program (mhGAP) is the latest in a series of repackaged solutions to bridge the huge gap between the burden of mental illness and the delivery of mental health care.

  • The core strategies identified by the programme are information, policy and service development, advocacy, and research. Small-scale research projects, which work well in ideal Third World settings, are projected as solutions for national programmes in poor countries. Governments are again being exhorted to implement the integration of mental health care into the primary care delivery system.

  • The goal of mental health for all, a socialistic ideal struggling in today's capitalistic world, demands a reappraisal of past programmes.

  • Medical education needs to be skill-based to produce competent practitioners. The strengthening of the general health infrastructure, to improve primary health care delivery, is mandatory for the effective integration of mental health into primary care practice.

  • Leadership from politicians, administrators, health and mental health professionals is crucial.

  • The changed reality in India demands new technical inputs, including the use of the private sector. Educating the population about mental illness using the mass media will erase stigma and increase the demand for services.

  • The availability of effective and affordable treatments and improved national finances have not closed the gap between mental health need and services. A HIV/AIDS model of activism, where users, families, interest groups, health professionals and scientists come together with the single aim of service provision, is required for transformation.

Courtesy: The Hindu and Times of India