The WHO issues the Mental Health Atlas every three years to monitor progress on the WHO Comprehensive Mental Health Action Plan.
Among the updates to the Plan agreed in 2021, it now includes an indicator on preparedness for providing mental health and psychosocial support during emergencies.
Subsequent editions of the Atlas will enable monitoring of the revised targets towards 2030.
New targets for 2030 have been added to the World Health Organization’s Comprehensive Mental Health Action Plan, which was originally designed to cover 2013-2020. These targets are tracked for the first time in the latest edition of the WHO’s Mental Health Atlas.
The updated Action Plan includes ten global targets, four of which are new. Global target 3.2, to reduce the rate of suicide by one third by 2030, and its indicator are aligned with SDG target 3.4 and indicator 3.4.2.
The new 2030 targets address: ensuring that emergency plans include mental health and psychosocial support; integrating mental health into primary health care; and research on mental health. The Action Plan also contains new and revised indicators for measuring progress. For the first time, the plan includes an indicator on preparedness for providing mental health and psychosocial support during emergencies.
The updated Plan was endorsed in May 2021 during the 74th World Health Assembly. Its four objectives – which the WHO reports remain unchanged – are:
- more effective leadership and governance for mental health;
- the provision of comprehensive, integrated mental health and social care services in community-based settings;
- implementation of strategies for promotion and prevention; and
- strengthened information systems, evidence and research.
The Plan proposes actions to be taken by Member States, the WHO Secretariat and international, regional and national partners, to advance each objective.
To monitor progress on the Plan, the WHO issues the Mental Health Atlas every three years. It uses national data covering issues such as mental health policies, financing, and use of services. The latest edition of the Mental Health Atlas, released in October 2021, is based on 2019 data. It provides baseline values for the updated indicators and targets. Subsequent editions of the Atlas will enable monitoring of the targets towards 2030.
Among its findings, the Mental Health Atlas 2020 shows “massive inequalities” in the availability of mental health resources and their allocation between high- and low-income countries and across regions, according to the WHO.
The Atlas was released in the lead-up to World Mental Health Day, observed each year on 10 October. In 2021 the focus of the Day is scaling up access to quality mental health care. [UN news] [WHO press release] [Publication: Comprehensive Mental Health Action Plan 2013-2030] [Publication: Mental Health Atlas 2020]