The South Asian region accounts for around one fourth of the world population and one fifth of psychiatrically ill patients in the world. The region lacks mental health policies and infrastructure. Issues like community care, trained manpower, patient satisfaction and better legislation have been a focus of attention in recent years. As this region is fast developing, cooperation is needed in the field of mental health to keep pace with the other areas. Cooperation is needed to develop culturally acceptable forms of psychotherapy and new technologies for delivery of mental health services. Another area of potential cooperation is the development of a classification of mental disorders that is more informative in our setting. The development of a mental health programme and its inclusion at various levels of health care delivery has also gained precedence. As most of countries in the area have limited financial resources, the funds are to be used in the most cost-effective manner, and for this a greater collaboration amongst the countries is needed. New research needs to be undertaken in the area especially to meet the local requirements and to understand diseases in a regional perspective, but research cannot be fruitful if regional cooperation is lacking. To enhance the cooperation in mental health, world bodies like the WPA will need to come forward and bring all the countries at a common platform. The WPA has done commendable work in this regard and has always extended support to the regional bodies to uplift the mental health in this region.
|Publication status||Published - 2007|