World Mental Health Day
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10 October 2011
World Mental Health Day raises public awareness about mental health issues. The day promotes open discussion of mental disorders, and investments in prevention, promotion and treatment services. The treatment gap for mental, neurological and substance use disorders is formidable especially in poor resource countries.
This year the theme is "Investing in mental health". Financial and human resources allocated for mental health are inadequate especially in low resource countries. The majority of low- and middle-income countries spend less than 2% of their health budget on mental health.
Many countries have less than one mental health specialist per one million population. Even a considerable part of the limited resources is spent on large mental hospitals and not for services delivered through community and primary health care.
We need to increase investment for mental health and to shift the available resources towards more effective and more humanitarian forms of services.