WHO statement of support for Ministerial Advisory Committee on Mental Health
Johannesburg, 2 October 2015 - The South African government has established a Ministerial Advisory Committee on Mental Health which will be inaugurated on Friday, 2 October 2015. The WHO Representative in South Africa, provided a statement of support at the inauguration which was attended by the Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, the Director-General of Health, Ms Precious Matsoso, members of the Ministerial Advisory Committee and other key stakeholders. The Committee will advance the Mental Health Policy Framework and Strategic Plan for 2013-2020 which was developed with WHO Country and Regional Office support, and aims to strengthen institutional capacity for mental health.
Specifically, the Committee will:
· Provide advice to the Department of Health on evidence-based and cost effective minimum mental health care packages for each level of the health system.
· Engage with consumers and family associations in policy development and implementation, as well as planning and monitoring of services, to give substance to the slogan: “nothing about us without us”.
· Provide technical support to the Department of Health to ensure that in the financing of the National Health Insurance system, mental health services will be given parity with other health conditions, in proportion to the burden of disease and evidence for cost-effective interventions.
· Update national norms and standards in line with the Mental Health Care Act 2002 and the service delivery platform.
· Provide technical support to the national Department of Health for the routine periodic population survey of the prevalence and burden of mental illness in South Africa (every 10 years) and a national evaluation of mental health services (every 5 years). Data from these surveys will be used for ongoing planning and service delivery by all provinces.
· Facilitate the development of a national mental health research agenda, in consultation with the National Health Research Council and academic research
The WHO Country Office will continue to provide support for the implementation of the strategic framework.