Mental Health Atlas 2017

Publication date: 
6 June 2018

The Mental Health Atlas 2017 is remarkably significant as it is providing information and data on the progress towards the achievement of objectives and targets of the Comprehensive Mental Health Action Plan 2013–2020 to be measured.

This Action Plan contains four objectives:

(1) To strengthen effective leadership and governance for mental health;

(2) To provide comprehensive, integrated and responsive mental health and social care services in communitybased settings;

(3) To implement strategies for promotion and prevention in mental health;

(4) To strengthen information systems, evidence and research for mental health.

Global targets were established for each of these objectives to measure the collective action and achievements by Member States relating to the overall goal of the Action Plan. Mental Health Atlas is the mechanism through which indicators in relation to agreed global targets, as well as a set of other core mental health indicators, are being collected.

This edition of Mental Health Atlas also assumes new importance while WHO is embarking on a major transformation to increase its impact at country level and to be fit-for-purpose in the era of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The inclusion of mental health in the Sustainable Development Agenda, which was adopted at the United Nations General Assembly in September 2015, is likely to have a positive impact on communities and countries where millions of people will receive much needed help.

Data included in Mental Health Atlas 2017 demonstrates that progressive development is being made in relation to mental health policies, laws, programmes and services across WHO Member States. However extensive efforts, commitment and resources at global and country level are needed to meet the global targets. 

Dr Shekhar Saxena


Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse