From clinic to community: Supporting young women and men living with adversity
Providing care for those who need it most is a dilemma for mental health professionals. Most often there are few where the need is great, in conditions of adversity including forced migration and urban slums, rural isolation and community emergencies. Also, young women and men with mental ill health, whether living in adversity or not, often do not come for care.
Meeting these needs requires a coordinated public health response, including integration with general health care and public health. Mental health specialists have a vital role in strengthening community capacity to respond to mental health needs: through engaging primary health workers and communities in mental health work; through their direct clinical actions; and through their roles in public mental health. Their psychotherapeutic skills have widespread application through training and supervising community and health workers, including other trainers, as well as in direct clinical contact with people with mental ill health. The WPA is engaging with partners in health, community, legal and policy systems to support changes in the ways that mental health practitioners work under these conditions.
President, World Psychiatric Association
Orygen, The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health and The University of Melbourne, Australia