The importance of global mental health for the Sustainable Development Goals

Posted by Gulbenkian

Votruba N1, Eaton J, Prince M, Thornicroft G. The importance of global mental health for the Sustainable Development Goals. J Ment Health. 2014 Dec;23(6):283-6.

Currently the United Nations are negotiating the next generation of global development goals: the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) for the Post 2015 agenda. The previous 10 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) (United Nations Millennium Declaration, 2000) have helped to accelerate development in many low- and middle- income countries (LAMICs) (United Nations, 2013). While ‘‘[t]here have been visible improvements in all health areas’’, as United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon stated in the introduction to the MDG report 2013 (United Nations, 2013), mental health, although highly relevant to the MDGs, was wholly excluded from these goals. For the new SDGs, the international community now needs to recognise the evidence showing the growing burden of disease and the extensive social and economic global consequences of mental disorders and psychosocial disabilities (World Economic Forum, 2011). Mental health has for too long been a low priority in development. In the future Post-2015 agenda, mental health needs to be clearly included, with a specific mental health target and two indicators.

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