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World Psychiatry. 2010 Jun;9(2):67-77.

WPA guidance on steps, obstacles and mistakes to avoid in the implementation of community mental health care.

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Health Service and Population Research Department, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, UK.


This paper provides guidance on the steps, obstacles and mistakes to avoid in the implementation of community mental health care. The document is intended to be of practical use and interest to psychiatrists worldwide regarding the development of community mental health care for adults with mental illness. The main recommendations are presented in relation to: the need for coordinated policies, plans and programmes, the requirement to scale up services for whole populations, the importance of promoting community awareness about mental illness to increase levels of help-seeking, the need to establish effective financial and budgetary provisions to directly support services provided in the community. The paper concludes by setting out a series of lessons learned from the accumulated practice of community mental health care to date worldwide, with a particular focus on the social and governmental measures that are required at the national level, the key steps to take in the organization of the local mental health system, lessons learned by professionals and practitioners, and how to most effectively harness the experience of users, families, and other advocates.


Community mental health care,; balanced care model,; community awareness,; human resources,; human rights,; mental health services,; psychiatrists,; quality assurance; training,

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