The 2007 and 2011 Lancet Series on global mental health helped make mental health care a greater priority worldwide and led to the launch of the Movement for Global Mental Health.
However, it remains a grim reality that the vast majority of people affected by mental health conditions globally still do not receive adequate treatment and care, which prolongs suffering and causes colossal societal and economic losses. The situation is worsened by human rights abuses – and even torture and incarceration – of people with mental health conditions. This is also truly a global issue; for when it comes to mental health, all countries are still developing.
To respond to these challenges, The Lancet Commission on Global Mental Health & Sustainable Development aims to give fresh impetus to the prioritisation of mental health and ensure physical and mental health are valued equally by the global health and development communities. Seeking to catalyse action, the Commission outlines a blueprint for action on mental health to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
One of the unique guiding principles of the Commission emphasizes that mental health should be respected as a fundamental right, by putting people living with mental health conditions at the centre of planning services and challenging stigma. Everyone is entitled to dignity, autonomy, care in the community and freedom from discrimination.
Commissioned by The Lancet, one of the world’s most prestigious journals, the final report is the outcome of three years of dedicated efforts by a group of 28 Commissioners from across the globe, led by Vikram Patel and Shekhar Saxena, and including Arthur Kleinman. They brought considerable expertise in diverse scientific and policy disciplines, as well as lived experience of mental health conditions, to the process.
The Commission was supported by The National Institute of Mental Health, Wellcome Trust, Grand Challenges Canada and MQ-UK. The formal launch of the Commission report is scheduled for 10 October 2018 in London in the United Kingdom, supported by an international group of public engagement team and partners.
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