Mental health and substance abuse

World Mental Health Day 2015

Dignity in mental health


People with mental health conditions around the world deserve to live with dignity, as thousands are deprived of their human rights. People with mental health conditions are not only discriminated against, stigmatized and marginalized but are also subject to emotional and physical abuse in both mental health facilities and the community.

On this World Mental Health Day, observed on 10 October, WHO is calling on all stakeholders working in mental health to ensure that people with such conditions can continue to live with dignity, through human rights oriented policy and law, training of health professionals, respect for informed consent to treatment, inclusion in decision-making processes, and public information campaigns.

Dignity and mental health: Information sheet

Supporting dignity through mental health legislation: WHO paper for the World Federation of Mental Health [60kb]


Leadership in Mental Health Course

28 October 2015 -- The WHO Regional Office, the American University in Cairo and the Christian Blind Mission delivered the first-ever regional leadership course to scale up action on mental...

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14 July 2015 | Geneva - Worldwide, nearly 1 in 10 people have a mental health disorder, but only 1% of the global health workforce is working in mental health....

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WHO and partners release manual on psychological first aid during Ebola outbreaks

In times of outbreaks, it is critical that helpers be equipped with the know-how to provide humane, supportive and practical help for people who are distressed, in ways that respect...

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In focus

Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal: mental health supplement

Mental disorders are common and disabling. At any given time worldwide about mental disorder, and about 1 in 4 families has a member with a mental disorder. Mental, neurological and...

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Improving quality and human rights in mental health: a training of trainer’s workshop on WHO QualityRights Toolkit, 12–14 December 2012

All over the world, people with mental and intellectual disabilities and substance use disorders are subject to poor quality care and violations to their basic rights. These conditions are also...

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World Mental Health Day, 10 October

World Mental Health Day, 10 October, provides an opportunity to reflect on and discuss prevention, protection and treatment strategies and plans for mental disorders. The theme of the Day this...

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Statistics and figures

In the Eastern Mediterranean Region:

Mental and neurological disorders are responsible for 12% of all disability adjusted life years (DALYs) lost due to disease and injury

Mental health disorders account for 27% of years lived with disability

Drug abuse is responsible for a loss of 4 DALYs per 1000 population

Drug abuse is responsible for 9 deaths per 100 000 population

The overall adult (+15) per capita consumption per year of alcohol is low (0.65L as compared to the global average of 6.13L)