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Policy and public mental health in low- and middle-income countries 

Policy and public mental health in low- and middle-income countries
Policy and public mental health in low- and middle-income countries

Laura Shields

, Soumitra Pathare

, Pallavi Karnatak

, and Keshav Desiraju

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date: 26 January 2022

Low- and middle-income countries (LAMICs) often struggle with the development and implementation of mental health policy. Mental health policy is a complex concept affected by social, political and economic factors, and influenced by the third sector, patient and family organisations. A challenge is ensuring regular review of policies to reflect changing demographics and contextual factors. Many non-governmental organizations, researchers, implementation specialists, and advocates contributed and supported the development, implementation, customization, and evaluation of mental health policy documents in LAMICs. These developments keep public mental health and prevention of mental disorders central to the policy-making process. The development of a good mental health policy requires (a) defining goals and specific targets, (b) establishing an inclusive policy process which involves all stakeholders involved in or affected directly or indirectly by mental ill-health (c) setting a time frame for the implementation of policies and also for review and renewal.

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