Mental health and substance abuse | About the programme

About the mental health and substance abuse programme

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Picture of a young man sitting on a step smilingThe mental health and substance abuse programme works with the health sector, and other related sectors, to strengthen their response to addressing mental, neurological and substance abuse disorders. The programme relies on evidence-based and achievable plans to promote mental health and prevent and treat mental, neurological and substance abuse disorders and rehabilitate persons with these disorders, while ensuring respect for human rights and social protection. Attainment of the highest level of mental health is necessary for enhancement of social, human and material capital to achieve optimum development in countries.

The programme has developed goals and objectives to achieve its aims, including:

  • strengthening leadership and political commitment
  • integrating mental health services in primary health care services
  • strengthening secondary and tertiary care mental health services
  • identifying and prioritizing vulnerable persons
  • increasing the public's awareness of mental health and substance abuse and mainstreaming related programmes
  • establishing information and data collection systems and promoting research to bolster the evidence base.

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)