More Than Healthcare: Mental Health for all and Its Policy Implications
Grounded in the two principles of “no health without mental health” and “mental health as a human right” and drawing on an analysis of all relevant documents, this paper identifies the trajectory in which the WHO’s Comprehensive Mental Health Action Plan has developed. The Action Plan has emerged from an academic social movement for global mental health since the 1990s and experienced the debate over conceptualising mental health regarding its “heterogeneity in one” and “unity in diversity”. Mental health was once overlooked by the Millennium Development Goals agenda and yet has come to occupy an important space on the one for Sustainable Development Goals, which resulted in extending the Action Plan from 2020 to 2030. The COVID-19 pandemic has further invited international attention to the negative impact of public health emergencies on mental health. With that said, the reality is that, similarly in Taiwan, not only do most states lack political and financial commitment, but most of the resources also focus on the prevention and control of mental disorders and disabilities. Therefore, through introducing such a global policy, this paper aims to provoke more discussion on the right to mental health in Taiwan.