Mental Health

Mental disorders account for more than a quarter of all years lived with a disability globally, yet the majority of people suffering from these conditions do not receive adequate treatment and care. The Forum members bring a wealth of experience to solving this problem, including national and international policy makers, researchers, representatives from non-governmental organizations, and the private sector.

The Forum’s report will argue that the integration of mental health into routine healthcare (including general hospitals, primary healthcare and community care) is the primary route to achieve parity between mental and physical health and to address the human rights abuses suffered by people with mental disorders. The report will reinforce the commitment of countries expressed in WHO’s Mental Health Action Plan and propose a number of key innovations which seek to achieve this goal. The report will emphasize innovations which have been demonstrated to be effective, have the potential to be delivered at scale in the short-term, and are suitable for translation to other contexts.

Co-Chair – Professor Vikram Patel
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Professor Vikram Patel is a psychiatrist with a special interest in global mental health. He has been a Senior Research Fellow in Clinical Science since 2005 and is a Joint Director of the Centre for Global Mental Health, a partnership of the LSHTM with Kings Health Partners.

He is co-founder of Sangath; a Goan NGO which collaborates with the LSHTM on several projects in the areas of child development, adolescent health and mental health. In 2011 he was appointed to the Government of India's Mental Health Policy group.

He is actively involved in teaching, editing and research on the subject of mental health.

Co-Chair – Dr Shekhar Saxena
Director of the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, WHO

Director of the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, WHO

Dr Shekhar Saxena is Director of the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse at the World Health Organization. He is a psychiatrist by training with 30 years of experience in research and program management service, delivery, and information systems in the areas of mental health.

He was one of the writers of the 2001 World Health Report on mental health and an editor and author in the 2007 Lancet Series on Global Mental Health.

He led WHO's Mental Health Atlas and WHO Assessment Instrument for Mental Health Systems (WHO-AIMS). He is responsible for implementation of WHO's mental health Gap Action Programme.

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