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International Journal of Mental Health Systems

, 1:2

First Online: 09 August 2007Received: 11 July 2007Accepted: 09 August 2007


Recent developments, including experience related to the development of WHO-s World Health Report 2001, the WHO Atlas and the DCP Project related to Mental, Neurological, Developmental and Substance Abuse Disorders, indicate why advancing the interests of mental health is now so compelling.

In order to deliver a high standard of mental health treatment and care WHO emphasizes the adoption of an integrated system of service delivery to address comprehensively the psychosocial needs of people with mental disorders.

Even though the burden is large and increasing, the capacity to reach those in need is poor. This gap cannot be filled just by seeking more funding for mental health, more human resources, or more training. Of course, these aspects are key ingredients but what is often neglected is the need to conceive service delivery rationally.

Mental health professionals- attention should be channeled towards mental health systems and service organization which obviously has consequences in their training which should include more public health knowledge.

We need to know how to plan and organize services and improve the use of scarce financial and human resources in order to reach out to the mental health needs of the general population and to provide effective and humane services to those who need care.

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Author: Benedetto Saraceno


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