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World Health Organization. The Essential Package for Mental Health Policy, Plan and Services

The package consists of a series of interrelated user-friendly modules that are designed to address the wide variety of needs and priorities in policy development and service planning.Sample Image The topic of each module represents a core aspect of mental health. The starting point is the module entitled The Mental Health Context, which outlines the global context of mental health and summarizes the content of all the modules. This module should give readers an understanding of the global context of mental health, and should enable them to select specific modules that will be useful to them in their own situations. Mental Health Policy, Plans and Programmes is a central module, providing detailed information about the process of developing policy and implementing it through plans and programmes. Following a reading of this module, countries may wish to focus on specific aspects of mental health covered in other modules.

Guidance package purpose

The purpose of the guidance package is to assist policy-makers and planners to:develop policies and comprehensive strategies for improving the mental health of populations; use existing resources to achieve the greatest possible benefits; provide effective services to those in need;

assist the reintegration of persons with mental disorders into all aspects of community life, thus improving their overall quality of life.

The essential package for mental health policy, plan and services consists of:


The WHO Mental health policy and service guidance package (14 modules)

2. WHO policy and plan evaluation checklists

Mandates and Declarations

Resolutions of the Directing Council of the Pan American Health Organization:

Plan on action on mental health. Resolution CD53.8. 53rd Directing Council, Washington, D.C., USA, 29 September-3 October 2014

Strategy and plan of action on epilepsy . Resolution CD51.8. 51st Directing Council, Washington, D.C., USA, 26 - 30 September 2011

Strategy and plan of action on mental health. Resolution CD49.R17. 49th Directing Council, Washington, D.C., USA, 28 September-2 October 2009

Disability: Prevention and rehabilitation in the context of the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health and other related rights.  Resolution CD47.R1. 47th Directing Council, Washington, D.C., USA, 25-29 September 2006

Mental Health in the Americas: New Challenges in a new Millennium, CD43/15, Working documents of the 43th Directing Council, Washington, D.C., USA, 24-28 September 2001

Mental Health, CD40/15. Working documents of the 40th Directing Council, Washington, D.C., USA, 22-26 September 1997  




icon Caracas Declaration (132.15 kB), Adopted in Caracas, Venezuela, on 14 November 1990

icon Brazil Principles (933.29 kB), Regional Conference on Mental Health Services Reform (15 years after the Caracas Declaration), 7 - 9 November 2005

icon Panama Consensus (405.00 kB), Adopted in Panamá City, Panamá, on 8 October 2010

icon Brasilia Consensus (1.15 MB), Adopted in Brasilia, Brazil, on October 15-17, 2013, Versions: Spanish, Portuguese.   Photos.     


More resources

Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization
525 Twenty-third Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20037, United States of America
Tel.: +1 (202) 974-3000 Fax: +1 (202) 974-3663

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