The estimated prevalence of mental disorders in the

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The estimated prevalence of mental disorders in the WHO European Region in 2015 was 110 million, equivalent to 12% of the entire population at any one time. Inclusion of substance use disorders increases that number by 27 mil- lion (to 15%), while inclusion of neurological disorders such as dementia, epilepsy and headache disorders increases the total by more than 300 million, to 50%. CO-MORBIDITY The links between mental disorders and major non - communicable disease (NCDs) are well established. Mental disorders affect, and are in turn affected by, major NCDs: they can be a precursor or a consequence of chronic conditions such as cardiovas - cular disease, diabetes or cancer. Risk factors for these diseases, such as sedentary behaviour and harmful use of alcohol, are also risk factors for mental disorders and strongly link the two. In clinical practice, however, such interactions and co-morbidities are routinely overlooked. Premature mortality and disability could be reduced if there were a greater focus on addressing comorbidity. People with mental disorders die 20 years younger than the general population. The great majority of these deaths are not due to a specific cause (such as suicide) but rather to other causes, notably NCDs that have not been appropriately identified and managed.
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MENTAL HEALTH GOVERNANCE Nearly all the countries in the European Region (94%) that responded to a recent survey for the Mental Health Atlas, conducted by WHO in 2017, stated that they had a stand-alone or integrated mental health policy or plan. Of these, two thirds stated that their policy complied fully with inter - national human rights instruments. In contrast, a mental health plan or strategy for children and adolescents was available in only 77% of the countries. Almost all countries reported having either a stand-alone law or a legislation for mental health that was integrated into general health or disability law. In approximately half the countries (45%), the law was enforced by a dedicated authority or independent body, which ensured regular inspections of mental health facilities and reported at least annually to stakeholders. MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES The new agenda for the Sustainable Development Goals poses additional challenges and opportunities for mental health gov- ernance. The promotion and protection of physical and mental health require a multi-sectoral response, which in turn requires a whole-of-government approach. A strategic vision for integrating mental and physical health care and prevention must be linked to and engaged with many constituencies in and beyond the govern-
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  • Fall '19
  • Mental Health Atlas

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