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Welfare Reform on the Web (September 2011): Mental health services - overseas

Increasing the priority of mental health in Africa: findings from qualitative research in Ghana, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia

P. Bird and others

Health Policy and Planning, vol. 26, 2011, p. 357-365

Despite the high prevalence of mental illness, mental health remains a low priority in Ghana, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia. Interviews with key stakeholders revealed that the low priority given to mental health was influenced by: 1) the low perceived legitimacy of the problem; 2) the perceived unfeasibility of responding to the problem; and 3) insufficient support to respond to the problem. The article concludes with broad suggestions on how to raise the priority of mental health in Africa.

Interagency collaboration in vocational rehabilitation for persons with mental health problems: the perspectives of the service users and the professionals

P. Germundsson, H. Hillborg and B. Danermark

Disability and Society, vol. 26, 2011, p. 699-713

Within the European Union, there is a policy aspiration that persons with disabilities should be fully involved in the community, including in paid work. Despite this policy, a high percentage of disabled people remain unemployed, especially those with mental health problems. This study investigates how people with mental health problems and workers in different agencies experience the vocational rehabilitation process from an interagency collaboration perspective. The results show several factors that appear to hinder interagency collaboration and therefore act as obstacles to individual rehabilitation. Barriers include lack of time for rehabilitation under agency rules, organisational factors such as confusion about who does what and collapsed support systems due to reorganisation, and conflicts between individual needs and organisational policies.

Mental health and the global agenda

Mental Health in Family Medicine, vol.8, 2011, p. 63-127

This issue contains a series of four articles, together with their accompanying editorials, which explore how international donors can invest effectively to address mental health needs in low-income countries in order to build mental capital at both individual and population level, reduce the burden of mental disorders within current health system constraints, and prepare health systems for the projected increase in mental disorders resulting from demographic, epidemiologic and socio-economic change.

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