World Health Organization

World Health Organization

World Health Organization
Avenue Appia 20
1211 Geneva 27

Lead Investigator

Dr Dan Chisholm

Dr Dan Chisholm
+41 227 914938
+41 227 915830

Institute Presentation

As the UN's lead agency for health, WHO has the charge to provide its member states with policy guidance and technical support to address the burden of mental disorders through scaled up action and investment. WHO's flagship mental health programme is its Mental Health Gap Action Programme (mhGAP), which has improved treatment and access to care at its core. Specific activities undertaken under this work programme include advocacy (such as the annual convening of an mhGAP Forum), information and surveillance (e.g. WHO Atlas project; WHO-AIMS country profiles), policy and law reform (e.g. WHO's QualityRights project), and service development (including the development of the mhGAP Intervention Guide). The mhGAP programme places strong emphasis on the use of an evidence-based approach in its technical work, and carries out a range of research activities (e.g. mhGAP Evidence Resource Centre; Current research priorities relate to mhGAP implementation issues, including consideration of the human, financial and other resources needed to scale up and sustain mental health systems. It is already engaged in mhGAP implementation activities in a number of countries in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

Main tasks attributed in the project

WHO's Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse will co-lead a Work Package relating to the adequate, fair and sustainable resourcing of mental health systems (along with the University of Cape Town). Working with country partners, WHO's main tasks within the context of this Work Package will be to a) develop and apply an integrated health systems planning tool for mental, neurological and substance use disorders; b) measure the microeconomic impact of these disorders at the household level; and on the basis of these work streams, c) generate appropriate local strategies for more sustainable and equitable financing of mental health services. WHO will also make technical contributions to the assessment of effective coverage and goal attainment (WP05), and - through its particular relationship with Ministries of Health - can play a significant role in the communication and dissemination of key project deliverables (WP06), both in the participating countries and beyond.