Reorganization of mental health services: from institutional to community-based models of care

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Abstract

Mental health services in the Eastern Mediterranean Region are predominantly centralized and institutionalized, relying on scarce specialist manpower. This creates a major treatment gap for patients with common and disabling mental disorders and places an unnecessary burden on the individual, their family and society. Six steps for reorganization of mental health services in the Region can be outlined: (1) integrate delivery of interventions for priority mental disorders into primary health care and existing priority programmes; (2) systematically strengthen the capacity of non-specialized health personnel for providing mental health care; (3) scale up community-based services (community outreach teams for defined catchment, supported residential facilities, supported employment and family support); (4) establish mental health services in general hospitals for outpatient and acute inpatient care; (5) progressively reduce the number of long-stay beds in mental hospitals through restricting new admissions; and (6) provide transitional/bridge funding over a period of time to scale up community-based services and downsize mental institutions in parallel.
Original languageUnknown
Pages (from-to)477-485
JournalEastern Mediterranean Health Journal
Volume21
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015

Keywords

  • Health Care Sciences & Services

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