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Table of Contents
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 46-47

WASP Bucharest Declaration on Social Well-being and Mental Health Evidence-informed Policies

1 Department of Psychiatry, Pushpagiri Institute of Medical Sciences, Tiruvalla, Kerala, India
2 Medical Referent of the Françoise Minkowska Institute, Paris, France
3 Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Interdisciplinary Center for Studies in Bioethics, University of Chile, Santiago, Chile
4 National Org Committee, WASP Congress, Bucharest, Romania

Date of Submission16-Jan-2020
Date of Decision17-Jan-2020
Date of Acceptance17-Jan-2020
Date of Web Publication21-Mar-2020

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Roy Abraham Kallivayalil
Department of Psychiatry, Pushpagiri Institute of Medical Sciences, Tiruvalla - 689 101 Kerala
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/WSP.WSP_5_20

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How to cite this article:
Kallivayalil RA, Bennegadi R, Lolas F, Cozman D, Paziuc A. WASP Bucharest Declaration on Social Well-being and Mental Health Evidence-informed Policies. World Soc Psychiatry 2020;2:46-7

How to cite this URL:
Kallivayalil RA, Bennegadi R, Lolas F, Cozman D, Paziuc A. WASP Bucharest Declaration on Social Well-being and Mental Health Evidence-informed Policies. World Soc Psychiatry [serial online] 2020 [cited 2021 Feb 26];2:46-7. Available from: https://www.worldsocpsychiatry.org/text.asp?2020/2/1/46/281137

We, the participants of the 23rd World Congress of Psychiatry, Bucharest, Romania, October 25–28, 2019, affirm that social determinants of mental health and access to care needs urgent attention of policy makers, planners, administrators, mental health professionals, and governments of the world. At this congress, global citizens, service users, families, carers, mental health advocates, and professionals with an interest in mental health have come together to express our belief that there is no good mental health in the absence of good social, economic, and physical environments.

We support the Astana declaration, confirming the fundamental right of every human being to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health without distinction of any kind. Good mental health care and good social integration, for service users and their families, are two pillars that contribute to put into practice this fundamental right.

We consider that the conditions in which people are born, grow, develop, live, work, and become older are shaped by the distribution of power, political will, and resources at global, national, and local levels. These conditions may contribute to mental disorder onset and course: the social inequalities are associated with increased risk of many common health disorders, including mental health disorders and even of premature death.

We also recognize that these mentioned conditions may become a valuable protective resource to improve the population global health, and to reduce the risk of mental disorders, if managed properly. For that, actions need to be universal, across the whole of society, and proportionate to the needs, in order to level the social gradient in health outcomes.

We believe that by acting on the social conditions in which people live, it is possible to contribute to promote the person's dignity, a better subjective mental health and well-being, to build the capacity of communities to manage adversity, and to reduce the burden and consequences of mental health problems. We also believe that disadvantages because of mental health problems damage the social cohesion of communities and societies by decreasing interpersonal trust, social participation, and civic engagement.

We declare that social interventions are crucial for the prevention of mental disorders, and they should be considered in any plan of treatment for these disorders. Social problems and mental health problems are interrelated, and they cannot be solved without collaboration between all institutions, providers, and disciplines of human knowledge, influence, and action.

We recognize social psychiatry as a branch of psychiatry concerned with the effects of the social environment on the mental health of individuals as well as the effects of persons with mental disorders on the social environment. Social psychiatry is specifically focused on the interpersonal and cultural context of mental disorders and mental well-being.

We support the Alma-Ata and Astana declarations, and professionals working in social psychiatry have the right and the duty to participate individually and collectively in the planning and implementation of the mental health care. These professionals have a moral responsibility to speak for patients and their needs, highlight the impact of social inequalities as a result of mental illness, and advocate for those who are most vulnerable and may not have a voice or may not be heard.

  • Whereas, 14% of the global burden of disease is attributed to mental disorders
  • Whereas, mental disorders account worldwide for 21% of the total number of years lived with disability
  • Whereas most of the people affected by these disorders, 75% in many low-income countries do not have access to the treatment they need
  • Whereas, there is a gap between what is needed and what is currently available to reduce the burden of mental disorders worldwide and to promote mental health.

We call on governments at all levels to ensure:

  • That social well-being principles are included in their mental health policies and programs and that people with mental illness and their families are included in the design and implementation of these policies and programs
  • The equitable and universal distribution of power and resources at global, national, and local levels to satisfy the population mental health needs in all ages
  • That there is parity of funding to support the promotion of mental health and the prevention and management of mental illness.

We urge the United Nations, the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Bank, and other international organizations to continue their collaboration to ensure parity of funding for mental and physical health.

We call local, regional, national, and international associations and organizations of social and mental health professionals, service users and providers, producers, families, and carers to advocate for the promotion of social determinants of health and to denounce any attempt of the dignity in the care of persons with mental health disorders.

We support and advocate for integrative collaboration between primary care, secondary care, social care, mental health services users and their families, carers and communities, society, governments, nongovernmental organizations, and private sector as a tool to accelerate the delivery of best mental health coverage and to improve the population mental health and social well-being.

We call on institutions involved in education and training of mental health and social care professionals to include in all graduation and postgraduation curricula, the social dimension issues in mental health, as well the development of skills to manage the social dimension and resources in the prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation of persons with mental health problems.

We call the WHO and the nations to:

  1. Foster the researches and innovation in mental health, to ensure affordable and appropriate prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation interventions in an integrated manner, with multidisciplinary teams to increase life expectancy and quality of life
  2. Use the results of the researches to develop an evidence brief for policy on mental health
  3. Convene a deliberative policy dialogue
  4. Develop a mental health evidence-informed policy, action plan to implement it, and assess the related performance of health systems to improve the mental health of populations
  5. Engage in these processes from the early stages of the key stakeholders: politicians, researchers, public health decision makers, patients, and communities in large.

Signed by: [Figure 1]
Figure 1: President Roy Abraham Kallivayalil (third from left) signs the WASP Bucharest Congress Declaration, October 28, 2019. Also seen in the picture are (from left) Alexandru Paziuc, Doina Cozman and Rachid Bennegadi (President-Elect)

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Prof. Roy Abraham Kallivayalil (WASP President)

Prof. Rachid Bennegadi (WASP President Elect)

Prof. Fernando Lolas (WASP Secretary General)

Prof. Doina Cozman (Co-chair, National Org Committee)

Dr. Alexandru Paziuc (Co-chair, National Org Committee) October 28, 2019.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.


  [Figure 1]


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