Health Experts Call For U.N. Special Session On Mental Illness, Illicit Drug Use

“Mental illness and drug abuse can wreak havoc in global societies and economies, and the U.N. General Assembly should devote a special session to the matter, global health experts said” in a PLoS Medicine article published on Tuesday, Agence France-Presse reports (1/17). “Mental, neurological, and substance use disorders (MNS) … are leading contributors to the global burden of disease and profoundly impact the social and economic well-being of individuals and communities,” a PLoS press release states, adding, “Yet the majority of people affected by MNS disorders globally do not have access to evidence-based interventions and many experience discrimination and abuses of their human rights” (1/17).

According to AFP, the authors argue that investment is needed in three key areas: “expanding knowledge about mental health disorders, better access to evidence-based programs of care and treatment, and protection of human rights” (1/17). “The authors also encourage support for the development of a ‘People’s Charter for Mental Health’ that intends to identify priority needs into practical actionable steps for country implementation,” the press release adds (1/17).