Mental health

Adopting a healthy lifestyle helps reduce the risk of dementia

WHO /Atul Loke

14 May 2019 - People can reduce their risk of dementia by getting regular exercise, not smoking, avoiding harmful use of alcohol, controlling their weight, eating a healthy diet, and maintaining healthy blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels, according to new guidelines issued by the World Health Organization today.

The Guidelines provide the knowledge base for health-care providers to advise patients on what they can do to reduce their risk of cognitive decline and dementia.

Special initiative for mental health (2019-2023)

2 May 2019 – In 2018 the WHO Director-General identified mental health for accelerated implementation within WHO’s work. This WHO Special Initiative seeks to ensure universal health coverage involving access to quality and affordable care for mental health conditions in 12 countries to 100 million more people. The initiative will advance policies, advocacy and human rights, and scale-up quality interventions and services for people with mental health conditions, including substance use and neurological disorders.

Country profiles of mental health resources published

21 January 2019 - More than 150 country profiles of mental health resources have been published today. The profiles, based on data provided by WHO Member States, provide a national-level snapshot of the existence of policies, plans and laws for mental health, human and financial resources available and the type of facilities providing care. The profiles are published as part of WHO’s Mental Health Atlas project, and are updated every three years.

New WHO guidelines to improve the physical health of people with severe mental disorders


7 November 2018 - People with severe mental disorders – including severe depression, bipolar disorder and psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia – generally die 10-20 years earlier than the general population. The majority of these premature deaths are due to physical health conditions. Access to comprehensive health services remain out of reach for the majority of people with severe mental disorders.

To help address this inequity, WHO has released, for the first time, evidence-based guidelines on the management of physical conditions in adults with severe mental disorders.


Good mental health is related to mental and psychological well-being. WHO’s work to improve the mental health of individuals and society at large includes the promotion of mental well-being, the prevention of mental disorders, the protection of human rights and the care of people affected by mental disorders.

World Mental Health Day 2019: focus on suicide prevention

1 person dies every 40 seconds from suicide. Every suicide is a tragedy that has long-lasting effects on the people left behind. This year’s World Mental Health Day, on 10 October, will focus on what can be done to prevent suicide.

World Health Day - 7 April 2017

“The goal of our “Depression: let’s talk” campaign was for more people with depression, in all countries, to seek and get help.

Latest publications

WHO Guidelines: Management of physical health conditions in adults with severe mental disorders

The Guidelines provide evidence-based, up-to-date recommendations to practitioners on how to recognize and manage comorbid physical and mental health conditions.

mhGAP Operations Manual

The manual is an integral component of the mhGAP package and offers practical guidance and necessary tools for planning, preparing, implementing, monitoring and evaluating mhGAP.

Suicide prevention: toolkit for engaging communities

Communities have an important role to play in suicide prevention.This toolkit is a step-by-step guide for people who would like to initiate suicide prevention activities in their community.

WHO MIND Project