Quarterly scientific journal

The global burden of mental disorders and the need to improve the quality of mental health services

Μagdalini Triantafyllidou


Introduction: Mental disorders are one of the main causes of the overall disease burden worldwide as it is estimated that one of four people will experience a mental health problem in their lifetime. Purpose: The purpose of the current article is to present the extent of the impact of mental disorders on personal health as well as the factors that afflict health. Furthermore it aims to describe the need of integration of the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) recommendations into health policies in order to improve the quality of mental health services. Material and Methods: The methodology that was followed in this paper was the review of Greek and international bibliography on the PubMed, Scopus and Medline databases on the subject of quality of health services and the presentation of the latest data in the global burden of mental disorders as well as in the socio-economic factors that affect mental health. Moreover, WHO recommendations for the improvement of mental health services quality and the changes in mental health legislation that Greek government introduced in 2017, are presented. Results: The negative mental health impacts urge the adoption of WHO’s recommendations by introducing measures that focus on improving quality in mental health services. In Greece, the most recent attempt to reform mental health services is intended to help improve the quality of mental health services. However, it does not appear to be in line with WHO’s recommendations as necessary quality improvement components, such as the efficiency and evaluation criteria, are absent. Conclusions: Overcoming the administrative deficiencies of the healthcare system in Greece is of great importance for the national adaptation policy processes in improving the quality of mental health services.

Keywords: Quality of healthcare and mental healthcare services, WHO’s recommendations, administrative reform of mental health services, global burden of mental disorders

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