PLOS Medicine - Grand Challenges in Global Mental Health: Integration in Research, Policy, and Practice

Author: 
Pamela Y. Collins, Thomas R. Insel, Arun Chockalingam, Abdallah Daar, Yvonne T. Maddox
Publication date: 
30 April 2013

PLOS Medicine Policy Forum

articles provide a platform for health policy makers from around the world to discuss the challenges and opportunities in improving health care to their constituencies.


Grand Challenges in Global Mental Health: Integration in Research, Policy, and Practice

Citation: Collins PY, Insel TR, Chockalingam A, Daar A, Maddox YT (2013) Grand Challenges in Global Mental Health: Integration in Research, Policy, and Practice. PLoS Med 10(4): e1001434. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001434

Published: April 30, 2013

Summary Points

Mental illnesses frequently co-occur with peripartum conditions, HIV-related disease, and non-communicable diseases. Care for mental disorders should be integrated into primary care and other global health priority programs.
Integration of care for mental, neurological, and substance use (MNS) disorders should (1) occur through intersectoral collaboration and health system-wide approaches; (2) use evidence-based interventions; (3) be implemented with sensitivity to environmental influences; and (4) attend to prevention and treatment across the life course.
Integration of care for MNS disorders with care for other conditions can occur through assimilation of activities, policies, or organizational structures at local, national, and global levels.
Plans for health-related development targets post-2015 should consider the tremendous burden of disability associated with MNS disorders and co-morbid conditions.
This paper is the first in a series of five articles providing a global perspective on integrating mental health.



This is an open-access article, free of all copyright, and may be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, modified, built upon, or otherwise used by anyone for any lawful purpose. The work is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication.

Funding: No funding sources were used for preparation of this manuscript.

Competing interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

Abbreviations: DALY, disability adjusted life year; GBD, global burden of disease; GCGMH, Grand Challenges in Global Mental Health; LMIC, low- and middle-income country; MNS, mental, neurological, and substance use; mhGAP, Mental Health Gap Action Programme; MDG, Millennium Development Goal; NCD, non-communicable disease; NIMH, National Institute of Mental Health; NGO, non-governmental organization; WHO, World Health Organization

Provenance: Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.