WHO and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia strengthen collaboration for prevention and care of mental health disorders

WHO

The WHO Country Office in Skopje hosted a national policy dialogue meeting on 14 February 2014 together with the National Commission on Mental Health, focused on finalization of the National Strategy and Action Plan on Mental Health and the corresponding National Monitoring and Evaluation Framework (2013–2020).

Consultations on the Strategy and Action Plan have involved all relevant institutions, including the ministries of health, labour and social policy, and education and science; the University Clinic of Psychiatry; psychiatric hospitals in Skopje, Demir Hisar and Negorci; the National Institute for Public Health; the Institute for Social Medicine and the Fund for Health Insurance.

The Strategy extends across the lifespan, focusing particular attention on children, adolescents and the elderly.

European policy framework

WHO provides expert support for development of long-term national policies and strategies on mental health within the framework of the European Mental Health Action Plan adopted by the WHO Regional Committee for Europe in September 2013.

The European framework aims:

  • to improve the mental well-being of the population and reduce the burden of mental disorders; 
  • to respect the rights of people with mental health problems and offer equitable opportunities to attain the highest quality of life, addressing stigma and discrimination;
  • to establish accessible, safe and effective services that meet people’s mental, physical and social needs and the expectations of people with mental health problems and their families.

Start of new collaborative agreement

The policy-dialogue event marked the start of activities under the newly signed biennial collaborative agreement (BCA) between WHO/Europe and the Ministry of Health, which sets out priorities for collaboration in the period 2014–2015.

In the area of mental health, the new BCA builds on progress achieved in 2012–2013 in preparation of the new Strategy on Mental Health and technical guidelines on community mental health.