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Innovations in Mental Health | WISH 2013

“The arguments for action [in global mental health] can be moral and humanitarian: the denial of basic healthcare and, worse, the clear abuse of human rights are compelling enough reasons on their own. However, we also emphasize the scientific and economic arguments. Innovative ways of delivering evidence-based care can decrease disability and suffering; increase the health and productivity of people with mental health conditions; and reduce the adverse economic impact on individuals, their families and the health system.”

“Transforming Lives, Enhancing Communities: Innovations in Mental Health” is a report that was prepared by the Mental Health Working Group 2013, in advance of the World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) meeting held in Doha, Qatar in December 2013.

The report outlines the current global burden of mental health, the need to elevate mental health as a global health priority, and a summary of promising innovations and potential scale-up of treatment and care for mental health in low and middle-income countries worldwide. Recommendations center around training and supervision of community health workers in mental health care delivery, improving political will, financial resources, and research in global mental health, and empowering people affected by mental health problems. 

In the report, the authors present six priority actions for the international community to implement at scale in low and middle-income countries:

  1. Empower people with mental health problems and their families
  2. Build a diverse mental health workforce
  3. Develop a collaborative and multidisciplinary team based approach to mental healthcare
  4. Use technology to improve access to mental healthcare
  5. Identify and treat mental health problems early
  6. Reduce premature mortality in people with mental health problems

Key contributors to the Mental Health Working Group leadership include:

  • Prof The Lord Darzi – WISH, Qatar Foundation, Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College London
  • Prof Vikram Patel – Centre for Global Mental Health at London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), Sangath, Public Health Foundation of India
  • Dr Shekhar Saxena – Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse at WHO

The report includes the following sections:

  • Foreword & Executive Summary
  • Part I – Mental Health Problems are a Global Health Priority
  • Part II – Policy Actions through Innovation
  • Part III – Making Action Happen
  • Acknowledgments & Appendices

WISH Academic Partners include: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Brookings, Carnegie Mellon University at Qatar, Georgetown University School of Foreign Affairs at Qatar, Hamad Medical Corporation, Harvard Medical School, Health Affairs, HEC Paris in Qatar, Imperial College London, International Association for the Study of Obesity (IASO), The John D. Stoeckle Center for Primary Care Innovation, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, The Lancet, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), Massachusetts General Hospital, MIND, MIT Media Lab, NHS National Institute for Health Research, The New York Academy of Medicine, Northwestern University at Qatar, Primary Health Care Corporation, Sidra Medical and Research Center, Texas A&M at Qatar, University of Calgary, UCL Qatar, University of Edinburgh, VCU Qatar, and Weill Cornell Medical College.