Closing the Treatment Gap for Mental, Neurological, and Substance Use Disorders by Strengthening Existing Health Care Platforms: Strategies for Delivery and Integration of Evidence-Based Interventions

Authors: Rahul Shidhaye, Crick Lund, Dan Chisholm


This paper outlines the main elements and features of a mental health care delivery platform and its delivery channels. These include evidence-based interventions that can be delivered via this platform as well as broader health system strengthening strategies for more effective and efficient delivery of services. The focus is broadly on health systems perspective rather than strictly disorder-oriented intervention analysis. A set of evidence-based interventions within the WHO pyramid framework of self-care, primary care, and specialist care have been identified; the main challenge lies in the translation of that evidence into practice. The delivery of these interventions requires an approach that puts into practice key principles of public health, adopts systems thinking, promotes whole-of-government involvement and is focused on quality improvement. Key strategies for effective translation of evidence into action include collaborative stepped care, strengthening human resources, and integrating mental health into general health care. In order to pursue these principles and strategies using a platform-wide approach, policy makers need to engage with a wide range of stakeholders and make use of the best available evidence in a transparent manner.


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Shidhaye R, et al. 2015. Closing the treatment gap for mental, neurological and substance use disorders by strengthening existing health care platforms: strategies for delivery and integration of evidence-based interventions. International Journal of Mental Health Systems. 9:40. DOI: 10.1186/s13033-015-0031-9