(2012), "Jordan - Ministry to evaluate integration of mental health services", International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, Vol. 25 No. 2. https://doi.org/10.1108/ijhcqa.2012.06225baa.011Download as .RIS
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Jordan - Ministry to evaluate integration of mental health services
Article Type: News and views From: International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, Volume 25, Issue 2
Keywords: Mental health service integration, Performance management measurement, Public awareness programmes/education
The Ministry of Health is preparing an evaluation to assess its experience in integrating mental health services into primary healthcare, a ministry official has stated.
Bassam Hijjawi, director of the health ministry’s primary healthcare directorate, said that the evaluation will take six months.
“We have trained 15 general practitioners on how to diagnose and refer patients with mental health symptoms,” he said, noting that the ministry will review the performance of these doctors and the cases they have diagnosed.
“If the results and performance turn out as planned, we will train more doctors in our primary health centres and the first group of doctors will become trainers,” Hijjawi explained, noting that integrating mental health services into primary healthcare is “challenging”.
The ministry has been implementing the World Health Organisation (WHO) Mental Health Gap Action Programme since 2008, under which 15 centres were accredited in Amman, Irbid and Zarqa to merge mental health and primary healthcare services.
Hijjawi stressed, however, that the ministry will focus not only on expanding mental health services but also on raising awareness about mental health and illness.
“We want to reach a point where people are not ashamed of seeing psychiatrists,” he said, adding that patients should realise that the earlier they visit doctors, the better the results of their treatment will be.
No accurate figures are available on the number of Jordanians with mental health issues, although the health ministry estimates that between 10 and 25 per cent of the population suffers from some type of psychological malady.
According to WHO, between 35.5 and 50.3 per cent of people with mental health issues cannot reach psychological treatment in developed countries, compared to 76.3 to 85.4 per cent in less developed countries.
A total of 450 million people worldwide suffer from mental issues, acting WHO representative in Jordan Ahmad Yousfi said in a previous statement, while one in four people will develop some form of mental health issue during their lifetime.
Mental health is defined as a state of well-being in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community, according to the WHO web site.
The positive dimension of mental health is stressed in WHO’s definition of health as contained in its constitution: “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
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