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Classification: The Foundation and Essential Catalyst for Advancing Mental Health Globally

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Classification of mental health disorders is an essential foundation for ongoing efforts to increase coverage for, and to enhance, mental health care around the world. The process of classification standardizes common language for mental health that fosters global communication and information exchange among mental health practitioners, primary care clinicians, policy makers, service users, and health care systems. This chapter highlights the importance of classification in improving global mental health outcomes by illustrating the applicability of the most updated global classification system for mental health, the 11th revision of the International Classification of Diseases and Related Disorders (ICD-11), to each of the four objectives of the World Health Organization’s Mental Health Action Plan: 1) to provide comprehensive, integrated and responsive mental health and social care services in community-based settings; 2) to strengthen information systems, evidence and research for mental health; 3) to implement strategies for promotion and prevention in mental health; and 4) to strengthen effective leadership and governance for mental health. The information presented in this chapter suggests that the ICD-11 classification, through its emphasis on clinical utility and global applicability, will enhance the capacity of global health care systems to efficiently and cost-effectively identify and treat individuals with the greatest mental health needs, contributing to a reduction in the global mental health treatment gap.

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Correspondence to Tahilia J. Rebello .

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Rebello, T.J., Polland, D.M., Heckelman, A.C., Magill, E., Reed, G.M., Pike, K.M. (2021). Classification: The Foundation and Essential Catalyst for Advancing Mental Health Globally. In: Okpaku, S.O. (eds) Innovations in Global Mental Health. Springer, Cham.

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  • Print ISBN: 978-3-319-70134-9

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