CIMG6648Mental Health as a Public Health Issue

Good mental health affords people the ability to work, love and play; which means that mental health is an integral part of health. Therefore, public mental health is paramount to achieving good health in the population. Mental health and many mental disorders are influenced to a great extent by the social determinants of health, which can increase the risk for developing mental disorders as well as contribute to increase in unemployment, lower productivity, and cause stigma and discrimination.

Though there are multiple social determinants of mental disorders, socioeconomic status, such as level of income, unemployment, income inequalities, gender discrimination are among the most important. In addition to understanding and addressing the cyclic nature of social determinants, actions and commitment are also needed to support establishment and implementation of good public mental health policies and for the preparation and implementation of healthy public policies in general.

This presentation will highlight challenges, gaps and opportunities in the delivery of mental health services. It will explore options that are accessible, acceptable, and that take account of culture and available resources. Public mental health is needed to facilitate this.