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Draft comprehensive mental health action plan 2013-2020

Last updated: 12.06.2013 //


We make this statement on behalf of the Nordic countries Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Sweden, and Norway.

  • The Nordic countries welcome the strengthened focus on mental health in WHO and would like to express our support for the draft Global Mental Health Action Plan.
  • No other group of disorders is globally as marginalized and stigmatized, and at the same time contributes as strongly to the global burden of disease as do mental disorders.
  • Therefore, we fully agree with the vision and principles of the action plan.
  • We would emphasize the importance of focusing on cost-effectiveness and necessary synergies in implementing the plan:

Firstly: In order to improve the situation, we need to put stronger focus on promoting mental health, in addition to prevention, early diagnosis, low threshold services and treatment of mental disorders.

Secondly: Feeling of identity, meaning in life, mastery, affiliation and belonging, safety, social support and social networks are among the most important factors that contribute to producing strong mental health in a population.

We need to lay emphasis on health inequalities and social determinants of health. In order to do this, we need to strengthen cooperation between inter-sectorial and outside-health systems profiles.

Among the causes that bereave people of core mental health promoting factors are; poverty, national and international confilcts, disintegration of societies and communities, social networks and families, unemployment, violence in close relationships, bullying, social marginalization and stigmatization.

In our view, the trans-generational, contextual and life course perspectives should be better understood and repeatedly underlined in all plans to produce good mental health and prevent diseases.

In setting up relevant indicators we feel that both positive and negative measures should be included, in order to convey the mental health status of a population. This should be done alongside the monitoring of the prevalence and incidence of mental disorders. There is a need to complement the information with levels of well-being and factors that promote mental health and well-being.

Finally, we highly appreciate that mental health is now on the global health agenda. We would stress the importance of considering the different action plans on health issues in conjunction with each other.

Thank you.

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