Malta Universal Mental Health Declaration
We, global citizens, service users, families, carers, mental health advocates and professionals with an interest in mental health have come together to affirm our belief that services and opportunities for people with mental illness, and their families and carers, can and should be better.
We fight for mental health and well-being for all, with equality of treatment and dignity in experience, as a basic human right.
We recognise that there are many global initiatives that have led to an increase in life expectancy for global citizens with many people living longer and more fulfilling lives, but this is not the case for people with mental illness. Mental disorders rank among the most substantial causes of death worldwide.
The UN has affirmed the right of every human being to enjoy the highest standard of physical and mental health without discrimination on any basis. Yet stigma continues to be a barrier to access to good health for many people with a mental health condition because they do not have equality of access to healthcare and other social services. In addition, many people are reluctant or afraid to talk about their mental health for fear of discrimination. Further, co-morbid mental ill-health is increasingly common in patients with chronic physical health conditions.
We support the Astana Declaration, confirming the fundamental right of every human being to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health without distinction of any kind. We are convinced that strengthening primary health care (PHC) is the most inclusive, effective and efficient approach to enhance people’s physical and mental health, as well as social well-being, and that PHC is a cornerstone of a sustainable health system for universal health coverage (UHC) and health-related Sustainable Development Goals.
Mental health care and social integration for service users and their families must be one of the pillars to achieve this target.
We call on governments at all levels to ensure that mental health is included in their policies and strategies for universal health coverage, and that people with mental illness and their families are included in the design and implementation of these policies and strategies.
We call on governments at all levels to ensure that Public policies and laws to support universal health coverage mandate parity of esteem between mental and physical health in consultation with mental health service, users, their families and the professionals who work with them.
We call on governments at all levels to ensure that there is parity of funding to support promotion of mental health and the prevention and management of mental illness. We urge the United Nations, the WHO and the World Bank to continue their collaboration to ensure parity of funding for mental and physical health.
We support and advocate for collaboration between primary care, secondary care, social care, mental health services users and their families, carers & communities, society, governments and NGO’s, as a tools to accelerate the delivery of universal health coverage.
We call on institutions involved in the training of health and social care professionals to make adequate training in mental health mandatory across the world.
Signed on 12.12.2018 in Malta:
Professor Sir David Goldberg, Joint President of the UHMH Congress
Professor Gabriel Ivbijaro MBE, Joint President of the UHMH Congress and Founder of The World Dignity Project
Professor Michelle Riba, Chair Scientific Committee, Foundation Member The World Dignity Project
Professor Pierre Thomas, Co-Chair Scientific Committee, Foundation Member The World Dignity Project
Professor Helen Herrman, Co-Chair International Committee
Professor Amanda Howe, Co-Chair International Committee
Ms. Claire Brooks, Co-Chair Advocacy Committee, Foundation Member The World Dignity Project
Dr. Alberto Trimboli, Co-Chair Advocacy Committee
Professor Shekhar Saxena, Harvard T H Chan School of Public Health
Dr. Afzal Javed, Co-Chair Advocacy Committee
Dr. John Cachia, Commissioner for Mental Health Malta
Dr. Anton Grech, Chairman of Psychiatry Malta
Professor Lucja Kolkiewicz, Chair Host Organizing Committee, Foundation Member The World Dignity Project
Ms Kathryn Goetzke, Founder, iFred
Professor Christopher Dowrick, Vice-Chair Scientific Committee
Professor Roy Kallivayalil, President, World Association of Social Psychiatry and Vice-Chair Scientific Committee
Professor Jean-Luc Roelandt, Foundation Member The World Dignity Project
Professor Norman Sartorius, Member International Committee
Professor Eliot Sorel, Member International Committee
Professor John Oldham, Member International Committee
Professor Henk Parmentier, Foundation Member The World Dignity Project
Mr. Simon Vasseur-Bacle, Foundation Member The World Dignity Project
Professor Rahn Bailey, Member International Committee
Ms. Raghnia Chabane, Member International Committee
Professor Vincenzo Di Nicola, Member International Committee
Mr. Pierre Galea, Member International Committee
Dr. Abdullah Al-Khathami, Member Scientific Committee
Professor Michael Kidd, Member Scientific Committee
Dr. Sumaya Laher, Member Scientific Committee
Dr Nigel Camillieri, President Malta Association of Psychiatry
Dr Rachel Taylor-East, Member Host Organising Committee
Dr David Cassar, Head Department of Psychiatry University of Malta
Mr Alexei Sammut, Department of Mental Health University of Malta and representative Maltese Association of Psychiatric Nurses
Ms Lisa Weston-Mangion, Host Organising Committee and Member of The World Dignity Project
Ms Ljiljana Vucicevic, Host Organising Committee and Member of The World Dignity Project
Mr Dennis Shorunkeh-Sawyer, Host Organising Committee and Member of The World Dignity Project
Dr Carlos Augusto de Mendonça Lima, Secretary WPA Section of Old Age Psychiatry, Councillor EPA Section of Old Age Psychiatry
Dr Sunil Mittal, General Secretary, Caring Foundation (India)