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Table 1 WHO Framework for the development of a mental health policy and plan (WHO, 2005)

From: An assessment of mental health policy in Ghana, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia

Phase Focus Activities
The mental health policy
1. Information & data for policy development Information is gathered through formal research and rapid appraisal to understand the mental health needs of the population and the mental health system and services offered.
2. Evidence for effective strategies Local services are visited and national and international literature reviewed (previous policy, plans and programmes, pilot projects and local experiences, evidence from countries or regions with similar cultural and socio-economic features).
3. Consultation and negotiation Consult with various stakeholders, draft proposals that blend different views with evidence from national and international experience, and available technical and resource base. Obtain political support for proposed policy.
4. Exchange with other countries Investigate the latest advances in more developed countries and lower-cost interventions in less developed countries, engage with international experts about proposals for the policy.
5. Vision, values, principles and objectives Set out the vision, values, principles and objectives for mental health in a draft policy. Objectives should focus on improving the health of the population, responding to people's expectations (human rights, client -focused orientation) and providing financial protection against the cost of ill-health.
6. Areas for action Translate the objectives of the mental health policy into areas for action, including those related to financing, legislation and human rights, organization of services, human resources and training, promotion, prevention, treatment and rehabilitation, essential drug procurement and distribution, advocacy, quality improvement, information systems, research and evaluation of policies and services and intersectoral collaboration.
7 Roles and responsibilities of different sectors Consult governmental agencies (health, education, employment, social welfare, housing, justice); academic institutions; professional associations; general health and mental health workers; consumer and family groups; providers; nongovernmental organizations (NGOs); & traditional health workers.
The mental health plan to support the policy
1. Strategies & timeframes Strategies and timeframes need to be set for the different areas of action identified in Step 6, through consultation with stakeholders.
2. Indicators and targets Strategies are broken down into specific targets and indicators to be achieved within given timeframes.
3. Major activities Activities and expected outputs to realize each strategy, and in each area of action, must be detailed.
4. Costs, resources and budgets Calculate the costs of each strategy, determine who will finance these resources, what resources are available resources and budget accordingly.