Thematic working group 1: Leadership and governance: integration of mental health care in the public health systems

  • Moderator: Mr Jaak Le Roy
  • Speakers:
    • Mr Adelin N’situ (DR Congo)
    • Mr Eugène Rutembesa (Rwanda)
  • Discussant: Mr Achour Ait Sidoun (Burundi/Belgium)

In this session, mental health policies will be discussed: how are they developed in each country and to what extent are they linked to medical care: are mental health services integrated into the national health system or are they developed outside of them? According to the WHO, leadership and governance are essential to ensure effective and sustainable integration of mental health services into the public health system. At least, that is what the theory says. But… how does this work in practice? What lessons can be learned from the field? We will look at solutions found in various countries to develop mental health policies and to ensure that mental health services are integrated into the national health system. We will explore how this articulation impacts different organizational levels (from communities to national political leaders) by looking at the challenges they pose at each level and the responses that have been given. Beyond these organizational aspects, we will also look at the content of these mental health policies: do they seem appropriate? Have they demonstrated their clinical relevance? Do they promote patients’ rights?