|Athens Declaration on the Mental Health Consequences of Crises and Disasters|
On the occasion of the International Congress of the World Federation for Mental Health and the Hellenic Psychiatric Association ”Crises and Disasters – Psychosocial Consequences” (March 2013) the World Federation for Mental Health jointly with the Hellenic Psychiatric Association, the Society of Preventive Psychiatry, the World Association for Psychosocial Rehabilitation, the Psychiatric Association for Eastern Europe and the Balkans, the Section of Preventive Psychiatry of the World Psychiatric Association, the International College of Person-centered Medicine and the Institute of Spanish Speaking Psychiatrists make the following declaration on the mental health consequences of crises and disasters.
Promoting and protecting the mental health and the well being of the population must be a high priority for governments. Paying attention to the mental and emotional health of a nation’s people must be given added priority during crises and disasters such as the world is currently experiencing. Worth noting in this context is that mental health funding is cost effective.
The Global Mental Health Plan and the World Federation for Mental Health “People’s Charter for Mental Health” have strongly endorsed the need for a comprehensive response to these disasters involving Governmental and Non-Governmental organizations, including professional associations and Civil society, including patients – users’ and families – carers’ groups.
The WFMH, HPA, SPP, WAPR, PAEEB, SPP-WPA, ICPCM and IPLE Call :
o For the acceptance of mental disorders as the fifth major noncommunicable disease;
o That mental health and well-being both be recognised as essential components of the Sustainable Development Goals
o That mental health be represented on all disaster emergency committees and of course,
o For the WHO Comprehensive Action Plan to be implemented expeditiously by all countries.
Given in Athens on 9th March 2013