Expert Opinion Statement on Child and Adolescent Mental Health

Shekhar Saxena, Professor of the Practice of Global Mental Health, Global Health and Population, Harvard T H Chan School of Public Health (USA)
“The III Congress on Mental Health has chosen the theme of Children, Society and Future, which is extremely relevant and in keeping with “promoting mental health and wellbeing” within the Sustainable Developing Goals of the United Nations. According to WHO, mental health is a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community. Mental health has to be conceptualised as an essential attribute of humanity and a public good to be valued, protected and promoted. Identifying evidence based interventions and programs directed at children to enhance their mental health and to reduce the likelihood of them having mental health problems in future is an urgent priority, that no country can afford to ignore. The Lancet Commission of Global Mental Health and Sustainable Development has proposed recommendations on this; these need to examined for their relevance and feasibility in various contexts and then integrated into policy and practice. I am confident that the Congress will go a long way in achieving this”.

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