Mental health and substance abuse

Image. Infographic on dementia.Dementia: Call for global action

Dementia is a global public health challenge. Worldwide, 47.4 million people live with dementia, and this figure is expected to reach 135 million by 2050.

Dementia is the umbrella term for a number of symptoms relating to decline in memory and other cognitive functions, severe enough to interfere with an individual’s daily living activities. There are various types of dementia–Alzheimer’s disease however, accounts for 50–70% of all cases of dementia.

Dementia has severe effects on the quality of life of individuals and causes tremendous strain on caregivers and health care systems. The cost of care reached an estimated US$ 604 billion worldwide in 2010, and is expected to exceed US$ 1 trillion annually in the US alone by 2050.

To address dementia in a comprehensive way there are three primary themes to consider: prevention and risk reduction, diagnosis and care, and cure. WHO committed to leading and coordinating efforts on dementia. It also pledged to establish a Global Dementia Observatory that will monitor disease prevalence and dementia care resources in Member States and track the establishment of national dementia policies and plans.

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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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WHO MiNDbank: More inclusiveness needed in disability and development

WHO MiNDbank is an online platform bringing together country and international resources, covering mental health, substance abuse, disability, general health, human rights and development, which aims to facilitate dialogue, advocacy and...

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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)