On Dignity in mental Health and the Sustainable Development Goals

2015 ushers in the aspirational Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which provides a 17-point set of principles to be implemented over the next 15 years, that intends to support the transforming of lives, protect the environment, and bring world poverty to an end.

Against this backdrop, this year's theme for the World Mental Health day 'Dignity in mental health' is put in perspective.

It is apt that the World Health Organisation puts the issue of 'dignity' front and center, as it highlights the difficulties faced by individuals with mental illness. The ravages of malady, discrimination and stigma have a profoundly negative impact on inclusiveness into mainstream society and also on productivity.

As we continue to support in our thoughts and in our actions, the development of robust, population-centered, empathetic and human rights-oriented mental health services, we must not fail to see how this dovetails with the ideals of an over-arching Sustainable Development Goals, however unwieldly the SDGs might prove to become due to the breadth of its reach.

The Sustainable Development Goals speak to, and for us when we commit to a mental health care that promotes inclusive societies and access to justice for all.

It also does same, when our support for adequate mental healthcare provision contributes to a reduction in inequality in our societies and countries, as well as ensures healthy lives and the promotion of well-being for all. 

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