It is only recently that mental health has found its place on the international ‘Global Health’ agenda as one of the five most important Non Communicable Diseases.  Mental ill-health is responsible for more disability than tuberculosis, malaria, cancer, ischaemic heart disease, and stroke; promoting mental health and wellbeing is written into SDG 3.4; mental health appeared clearly in this year’s Political Declaration on Universal Health Coverage.
Mental illness is not a disease like other diseases. It is not binary (we are all on a sliding scale), and it does not know simple interventions that just need to be scaled up. Moreover, ‘mental health’ is an amalgam of various things that have completely different causes, and are very different in their appearance. The spectrum ranges from neurobiological disorders to non-individual, situation-related conditions and culture-bound expressions of social suffering that are understood differently in different socio-cultural contexts. There is much to be done to clarify the field, from emergency response for people who find themselves in traumatizing situations to a sustainable approach for patients with severe mental illness.
Several Be-cause health member organisations and partners work on mental health programmes in developing countries, exchange practices and findings and aim to obtain more buy-in from fellow practitioners and policy makers. Be-cause health provides a forum to share field experiences and research on the topic.
 Arthur Kleinman, Georgia Lockwood Estrin, Shamaila Usmani, Dan Chisholm, Patricio V Marquez, Tim G Evans, Shekhar Saxena (2016) Time for Mental Health to come out of the shadows. www.thelancet.com Vol 387 June 4, 2016
 Ashok Malla, Ridha Joober, Amparo Garcia (2015) Mental illness is like any other medical illness: a critical examination of the statement and its impact on patient care and society. J Psychiatry Neurosci 2015;40(3)
Santé mentale au Rwanda – plus de 12 ans d’expérience partagée
Pendant plus de 12 ans, le docteur Achour Mohand a travaillé au sein du ministère de la santé au Rwanda pour promouvoir et renforcer les services de la santé mentale du pays. Au niveau mondial, un patient sur quatre qui visite un centre de santé a un trouble mentale, neurologique ou comportemental mais ses troubles ne seront pas détectés ni traités.
No development without mental health
April 7th, World Health Day in 2017 calls our attention to mental health. In Rwanda nearly a quarter of adult population suffers post-traumatic stress. Dr. Achour Ait Mohand of the Belgian Technical Cooperation assists since 10 years a hospital as well community-driven mental health care.