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.

Signatories:
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)