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Global Health Leaders Urging New UN Session to Address Mental Illness and Related Disorders

Experts are requesting a global gathering to discuss the ways mental illness and related substance abuse problems are emerging as a worldwide, multi-dimensional problem affecting thousands of communities. A special meeting of the United Nations (UN), or a UN General Assembly Session, is under discussion to address global preventative measures toward mental illness-related issues and explore more accessible treatments.

Leaders encouraging the special UN meeting include physicians representing the London School of Hygiene and Topical Medicine and the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. Statements in recent news articles say the experts are calling for a critical need to address a worldwide plan for offsetting the rise of mental illness diagnoses and related disorders – also called MNS disorders, which represent mental illnesses, neurological disorders and disorders related to substance abuse.

Although MNS disorders are among the diseases with the highest impacts for communities across the globe, they also represent the highest level of disorders without access to appropriate treatment. They are also among the disorders in which the strongest levels of discrimination are found, say experts.

The group urging the UN session is calling for a stronger level of action at the human rights level, more education worldwide about mental and neurological disorders and larger investments toward preventative measures and access to care. A special charter is also being discussed, which would involve participation by 96 countries and will help lay out next steps for each country toward preventative and treatment-related issues surrounding mental and neurological illness.

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