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01 September 2021

Professor Sir Graham Thornicroft to chair two new World Health Organization Guideline Development Groups

The two groups, Mental Health and Work and the mhGAP Intervention Guide, aim to help reduce global inequalities and barriers around mental health, especially in low- and middle-income countries.

About King's Centre for Global Health

Professor Sir Graham Thornicroft been selected to chair two new WHO Guideline Development Groups: Mental Health and Work and the mhGAP Intervention Guide.

Guideline Development Groups consist of healthcare professionals, patients, and carers, and are responsible for developing clinical guidance through reviewing the evidence-base. The guidance helps organisations ensure that the programmes and interventions introduced are based on the best-available evidence, and can be used by organisations in countries of all income levels.

It is a privilege for me to be asked to chair these WHO guidelines committees, with the potential impact to reach and assist people in all member states of the United Nations

Professor Sir Graham Thornicroft

The WHO guidance on Mental Health and Work will be used to assist employees, managers, and employers across the world to support people with mental health problems to access care, treatment, and support.

The mhGAP Intervention Guide aims to help primary and community care staff in low- and middle-income countries. Using this evidence-based guidance, staff will be trained to provide treatment to people with mental health problems. These guidelines have already been used in over 100 countries, with the third edition set to be published in 2022.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that 450 million people are affected by mental illness worldwide. Mental ill health contributes to at least 14% of the global burden of disease, and there are huge inequalities in access to treatment between countries.

Change at national, governmental level with effective grass roots implementation is needed to help instigate changes in policy and strategy at international and national levels, while providing evidence to implement and scale up mental health programmes on the ground.

Sir Graham Thornicroft is Professor of Community Psychiatry at the Centre for Global Mental Health, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, is a National Institute of Health Research Senior Investigator Emeritus and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, King’s College London and the Royal College of Psychiatrists. 

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Graham Thornicroft

Professor of Community Psychiatry