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Incorporating Mental Health Into Agenda To Ensure Access To Services For All

In this Lancet editorial, Giuseppe Raviola, Anne Becker and Paul Farmer, professors with the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School, write, “Unprecedented opportunities to promote excellence and equity in health care delivery for the world’s most underserved populations are upon us,” but “delivery of mental health services in low-resource settings lags unacceptably and unjustly far behind that of other services.”

They provide data about the disease-related burden and disability of mental health illness and write that optimism preceding the U.N. High-level Meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases in September “was warranted, but if the collective ambition of global health advocates, scientists, and practitioners is to promote social and economic rights and equitable access to evidence-based health services for all, we must also construe and promote global health as encompassing a global scope of health domains.” They conclude, “The methods are in hand, the advocates have been mobilized, and the message should be unified action” (11/5).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.