APEC ministers see
mental health as key element of socio-economic concern
CEBU CITY, Oct. 27 -- The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) has
encouraged member economies to complete their strategic needs assessment on
mental health in an effort to identify economy-specific focus areas to
inform initial pilot collaborations in mental health that provide tangible
benefits for economic growth, social inclusion, and the wellness of
communities and workplaces.
At the same time, health ministers of APEC member economies welcomed the
launch of a digital hub as an interactive resource to facilitate the
establishment of partnerships to implement the APEC Roadmap to Promote
Mental Wellness in a Healthy Asia Pacific.
"Mental health is a timely topic of discussion in the region with challenges
and successes in the implementation of mental health programs in APEC
economies," the APEC ministers said in their joint statement issued at the
conclusion of the 5th APEC High Level Meeting on Health and the Economy held
here last August.
They noted that mental illness is a key element of socio-economic concern as
it accounts for one-third of the chronic disease burden.
In this context, the APEC health ministers welcomed the progress of the Task
Force on Mental Health in implementing the APEC Roadmap to Promote Mental
Wellness in a Healthy Asia Pacific (2014-2020).
The Roadmap outlines a series of activities that would enable APEC member
economies and stakeholders to achieve the identified goals by 2020.
It includes specific actions, such as convening an APEC Task Force on Mental
Health, and working with key representatives of government, industry,
academic institutions, civil society not-for-profit organizations, and
international organizations, with the ability to promote collaborations,
especially public-private partnerships.
An APEC hub will also be established as a sustained tool to exchange
regional best practices, assess specific interventions, and inform the
launch of pilot collaborations.
Future plans also include establishing a multi-stakeholder network of mental
health champions across the APEC region by providing technical assistance to
leaders of collaborative pilot projects, and establishing a robust
surveillance and monitoring platform, which will provide benchmarks for
collaborations and implement suitable evaluation process and mechanism on
The APEC health ministers, likewise, welcomed the launch of a digital
hub/digital compendium of the Asia-Pacific region’s best and innovative
practices in multilateral, multi-sectoral collaborations, and model
public-private partnerships to strengthen mental health.
The health officials said this will serve as an interactive resource to
facilitate the establishment of partnerships to implement the roadmap on
mental health. (PCOO/APEC Communications Group)