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The WPA-Lancet Psychiatry Commission on the future of psychiatry

Bhugra, Dinesh, Tasman, Allan, Pathare, Soumitra, Priebe, Stefan, Smith, Shubulade, Torous, John, Arbuckle, Melissa R, Langford, Alex, Alarcón, Renato D, Chiu, Helen Fung Kum, First, Michael B, Kay, Jerald, Sunkel, Charlene, Thapar, Anita ORCID:, Udomratn, Pichet, Baingana, Florence K, Kestel, Dévora, Ng, Roger Man Kin, Patel, Anita, Picker, Livia De, McKenzie, Kwame Julius, Moussaoui, Driss, Muijen, Matt, Bartlett, Peter, Davison, Sophie, Exworthy, Tim, Loza, Nasser, Rose, Diana, Torales, Julio, Brown, Mark, Christensen, Helen, Firth, Joseph, Keshavan, Matcheri, Li, Ang, Onnela, Jukka-Pekka, Wykes, Til, Elkholy, Hussien, Kalra, Gurvinder, Lovett, Kate F, Travis, Michael J and Ventriglio, Antonio 2017. The WPA-Lancet Psychiatry Commission on the future of psychiatry. The Lancet Psychiatry 4 (10) , pp. 775-818. 10.1016/S2215-0366(17)30333-4

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Background This Commission addresses several priority areas for psychiatry over the next decade, and into the 21st century. These represent challenges and opportunities for the profession to sustain and develop itself to secure the best possible future for the millions of people worldwide who will face life with mental illness. Part 1: The patient and treatment Who will psychiatrists help? The patient population of the future will reflect general demographic shifts towards older, more urban, and migrant populations. While technical advances such as the development of biomarkers will potentially alter diagnosis and treatment, and digital technology will facilitate assessment of remote populations, the human elements of practice such as cultural sensitivity and the ability to form a strong therapeutic alliance with the patient will remain central. Part 2: Psychiatry and health-care systems Delivering mental health services to those who need them will require reform of the traditional structure of services. Few existing models have evidence of clinical effectiveness and acceptability to service users. Services of the future should consider stepped care, increased use of multidisciplinary teamwork, more of a public health approach, and the integration of mental and physical health care. These services will need to fit into the cultural and economic framework of a diverse range of settings in high-income, low-income, and middle-income countries. Part 3: Psychiatry and society Increased emphasis on social interventions and engagement with societal expectations might be an important area for psychiatry's development. This could encompass advocacy for the rights of individuals living with mental illnesses, political involvement concerning the social risk factors for mental illness, and, on a smaller scale, work with families and local social networks and communities. Psychiatrists should therefore possess communication skills and knowledge of the social sciences as well as the basic biological sciences. Part 4: The future of mental health law Mental health law worldwide tends to be based on concerns about risk rather than the protection of the rights of individuals experiencing mental illness. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which states that compulsion based in whole or in part on mental disability is discriminatory, is a landmark document that should inform the future formulation and reform of mental health laws. An evidence-based approach needs to be taken: mental health legislation should mandate mental health training for all health professionals; ensure access to good-quality care; and cover wider societal issues, particularly access to housing, resources, and employment. All governments should include a mental health impact assessment when drafting relevant legislation. Part 5: Digital psychiatry—enhancing the future of mental health Digital technology might offer psychiatry the potential for radical change in terms of service delivery and the development of new treatments. However, it also carries the risk of commercialised, unproven treatments entering the medical marketplace with detrimental effect. Novel research methods, transparency standards, clinical evidence, and care delivery models must be created in collaboration with a wide range of stakeholders. Psychiatrists need to remain up to date and educated in the evolving digital world. Part 6: Training the psychiatrist of the future Rapid scientific advance and evolving models of health-care delivery have broad implications for future psychiatry training. The psychiatrist of the future must not only be armed with the latest medical knowledge and clinical skills but also be prepared to adapt to a changing landscape. Training programmes in an age in which knowledge of facts is less important than how new knowledge is accessed and deployed must refocus from the simple delivery of information towards acquisition of skills in lifelong learning and quality improvement. Conclusion Psychiatry faces major challenges. The therapeutic relationship remains paramount, and psychiatrists will need to acquire the necessary communication skills and cultural awareness to work optimally as patient demographics change. Psychiatrists must work with key stakeholders, including policy makers and patients, to help to plan and deliver the best services possible. The contract between psychiatry and society needs to be reviewed and renegotiated on a regular basis. Mental health law should be reformed on the basis of evidence and the rights of the individual. Psychiatry should embrace the possibilities offered by digital technology, and take an active role in ensuring research and care delivery in this area is ethically sound and evidence based. Psychiatry training must reflect these multiple pressures and demands by focusing on lifelong learning rather than simply knowledge delivery.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (CNGG)
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 2215-0366
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 31 October 2017
Date of Acceptance: 8 September 2017
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2023 11:31

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