WHO_Janca+AJP+1998 - Images in Psychiatry Am J Psychiatry...

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Images in Psychiatry Am J Psychiatry 155:2, February 1998 World Health Organization Division of Mental Health and Prevention of Substance Abuse T he World Health Organization (WHO) was established in 1948 as a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) with primary responsibility for international health matters and public health. Al- though clearly recognized in the WHO constitution as a major com- ponent of public health programs, mental health has for a long time had only minimal infrastructural support in the organization. The Mental Health Unit of WHO was composed of a chief, first with only one staff member in support, and then with two. The unit has had the support of consultants and eventually grew to a total strength of four staff members; it stayed at that level until 1970. The successive heads of the unit—Drs. G. Hargreaves (United Kingdom), E. Krapf (Argen- tina), P. Baan (Netherlands), B. Lebedev (USSR), and F. Hassler (United States)—have each left an imprint on the structure of the pro- gram, which, however, remained modest in size. Dr. F. Hassler was
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