Policies, Standards, and Strategies

Scaling up Care for Mental, Neurological, and Substance Use Disorders

Publication year:




(802.4 KiB)


WHO, World Health Organization

Mental, neurological, and substance use disorders are highly prevalent and burdensome worldwide. The violations of human rights directed towards people with these disorders compound the problem. The resources that have been provided to tackle the huge burden are insufficient, inequitably distributed, and inefficiently used, which results in a large majority of people with these disorders receiving no care at all.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has recognized the need for action to reduce the burden and to enhance the capacity of Member States to respond to this growing challenge. The WHO mental health Global Action Programme was endorsed by the 55th World Health Assembly in 2002 and has led to advocacy initiatives and normative guidance to Member States in improving their health systems to deliver care to people with mental, neurological and substance use disorders. Mental health is now on the global public health agenda!

However, the task is far from complete. The gap between what is urgently needed and what is available to reduce the burden is still very wide. The next phase, Mental Health Gap Action Programme (mhGAP), presented in this document reflects the continued commitment of WHO to closing the gap. mhGAP is the WHO action programme developed for countries especially with low and lower middle incomes for scaling up services for mental, neurological, and substance use disorders. The essence of mhGAP is partnerships to reinforce and to accelerate efforts and increase investments towards providing services to those who do not have any.

View & Download


1 Documents

Document information

Subscribe and receive reading selections

Save all your favorite materials for future use

Upload research & contribute to the collection