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Page Background European Psychiatry 41S (2017) S8–S52

Available online at


25th European Congress of Psychiatry


Symposium: Promoting mental health in the

health and non-health sectors


Conceptual aspects of mental health

in its intersection with human rights

and development

S. Galderisi

University of Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli”, Department of Psychiatry,

Naples, Italy


Improving mental health of people is an impor-

tant goal of the present millennium. Community-based services

programs for prevention of mental disorders and promotion of

mental health have been implemented in several countries. How-

ever, the proportion of people suffering from mental disorders is

significantly and persistently high, and psychosocial distress due

to migration, natural disasters, and terrorism; in general, feeling of

insecurity is unlikely to improve current figures.


To highlight the interrelatedness of mental health, devel-

opment and human rights, in particular in women and girls.


The presentation will consider conceptual aspects of

mental health in its intersection with human rights and develop-

ment, with particular reference to women and girls.


Current definitions of mental health might be mislead-

ing and convey the false expectation that mental health coincides

with happiness and productivity. An alternative conceptual frame-

work will be presented, in which mental health is a dynamic state

of internal equilibrium that enables individuals to use their abili-

ties in harmony with universal values of society. Different factors

concur to the dynamic equilibrium, and will be discussed in their

intersection with human rights and development, with particular

reference to the most frequent violations of human rights (e.g. traf-

ficking, domestic abuse, sexual violence) that contribute to increase

the risk of mental disorders in women and girls.


Mental health is rooted in personal development and

social context inwhich the person lives. Strategies aimed to address

mental health in women and girls will need to consider gender,

country and socio-cultural specificities.

Disclosure of interest

Honoraria or Advisory board/consulting fees

from the following companies: Lundbeck, Janssen Pharmaceut-

icals, Hoffman-La Roche, Angelini-Acraf, Otsuka, Pierre Fabre and



Interventions in the health and

non-health sectors aimed at

promoting mental health

H. Herrman

Centre for Youth Mental Health, Orygen, The National Centre of

Excellence in Youth Mental Health, and The University of Melbourne,


Orygen, The National Institute of Excellence in Youth Mental Health,

Parkville, Australia

The impact of social determinants on women’s mental health

is becoming clearer worldwide. Poverty, violence and commu-

nal insecurity are among the main challenges to women’s mental

health and the health of their families. Depression is one of themost

common mental disorders experienced by women. It typically has

an early onset in life and is more frequently found in women made

vulnerable by trauma.

Improving mental health for women and girls requires early

intervention for depression and other mental disorders; with gen-

der sensitive clinical care and support for recovery in primary

health care, and mother, child and reproductive health sett-

ings. Early intervention in primary health care and collaboration

with patients and family carers encourage integration of mental

health with the health care system, in turn protective of human


In addition, gender equity and observance of human rights need to

be embedded in policy and practice in health and non-health sec-

tors to ensure that women’s mental health is promoted and mental

illnesses adequately prevented and treated. Effective promotion of

mental health and prevention of mental disorders is possible in

countries of all income levels.

Disclosure of interest

The author has not supplied his declaration

of competing interest.


The needs of women users of mental

health services and their families

M. Amering

Department of Psychiatry and Psychothera, Waehringer Guertel

18-20, 1090 Viena, Austria


Understand the needs of women users of mental health ser-

vices and their families and discuss consequences.