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J Pak Med Assoc. 2004 Dec;54(12 Suppl 3):S69-77.

Prevention and control of mental illnesses and mental health: National Action Plan for NCD Prevention, Control and Health Promotion in Pakistan.

Abstract

As part of the National Action Plan for Non-communicable Disease Prevention, Control and Health Promotion in Pakistan (NAP-NCD), mental illnesses have been grouped alongside non-communicable diseases (NCD) within a combined strategic framework in order to synchronize public health actions. The systematic approach for mental illnesses is centred on safeguarding the rights of the mentally ill, reducing stigma and discrimination, and de-institutionalisation and rehabilitation of the mentally ill in the community outlining roles of healthcare providers, the community, legislators and policy makers. The approach has implications for support functions in a number of areas including policy building, manpower and material development and research. Priority action areas for mental health as part of NAP-NCD include the integration of surveillance of mental illnesses in a comprehensive population-based NCD surveillance system; creating awareness about mental health as part of an integrated NCD behavioural change communication strategy; integration of mental health with primary healthcare; the development of sustainable public health infrastructure to support community mental health initiatives; building capacity of the health system in support of prevention and control activities; effective implementation of existing legislation and harmonizing working relationships with law enforcing agencies. NAP-NCD also stresses on the need to integrate mental health into health services as part of a sustainable and integrated medical education programme for all categories of healthcare providers and the availability of essential psychotropic drugs at all healthcare levels. It lays emphasis on protecting the interests of special groups such as prisoners, refugees and displaced persons, women, children and individuals with disabilities. Furthermore, it promotes need-based research for contemporary mental health issues.

PMID:
15745329
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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