Mental Health Services in the WHO South-East Asia Region: The Role of Community-Based Care

Unlocking Access: WHO South-East Asia Region’s Commitment to Community-Based Mental Health Services

In 2023, the Member States of WHO South-East Asia Region made a commitment to promote and facilitate access to community-based mental health services by adopting the Paro Declaration on universal access to people-centred mental health care and services. This declaration was followed by the Mental Health Action Plan for the WHO South-East Asia Region 2023–2030, which has four main objectives.

One of the objectives is to provide comprehensive, integrated, and responsive mental health and social care services in community-based settings. The plan outlines a variety of options to expand and strengthen community-based mental health services in WHO South-East Asia Region Member States. It also includes indicators to track the progress of the expansion of these services, such as the number of community-based mental health centers providing care and support options, the proportion of general hospitals with mental health units, and the number of supported living facilities for both long and short-term stays.

The goal of these initiatives is to improve access to mental health services and support for people with mental health conditions and psychosocial disabilities in the community. By focusing on community-based settings, the WHO South-East Asia Region aims to make mental health care more accessible and responsive to the needs of individuals.

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