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World J Psychiatry. Jan 19, 2022; 12(1): 117-127
Published online Jan 19, 2022. doi: 10.5498/wjp.v12.i1.117
Mental health promotion for elderly populations in World Health Organization South-East Asia Region: Needs and resource gaps
Nisha Mani Pandey, Rakesh Kumar Tripathi, Sujita Kumar Kar, K L Vidya, Nitika Singh
Nisha Mani Pandey, Rakesh Kumar Tripathi, K L Vidya, Department of Geriatric Mental Health, King George's Medical University, Lucknow 226003, Uttar Pradesh, India
Sujita Kumar Kar, Nitika Singh, Department of Psychiatry, King George's Medical University, Lucknow 226003, Uttar Pradesh, India
Author contributions: Pandey NM conceptualized the topic, prepared an outline, and discussed the research question for writing the manuscript; Kar SK wrote the introduction; Pandey NM wrote about the approach adopted for preparing the manuscript; Singh N and Vidya KL were involved in data acquisition and contributed to writing two subsections of the manuscript; Tripathi RK prepared the discussion part; Pandey NM prepared the abstract and the core tip by Kar SK; all authors reviewed the article, gave their valuable input.
Conflict-of-interest statement: The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article that was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Corresponding author: Nisha Mani Pandey, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Geriatric Mental Health, King George's Medical University, Shahmina Road Chowk, Lucknow 226003, Uttar Pradesh, India.
Received: February 27, 2021
Peer-review started: February 27, 2021
First decision: October 17, 2021
Revised: October 25, 2021
Accepted: November 29, 2021
Article in press: November 29, 2021
Published online: January 19, 2022

The accelerated population growth of the elderly (individuals aged 60 years or more) across the globe has many indications, including changes in demography, health, the psycho-social milieu, and economic security. This transition has given rise to varied challenges; significant changes have been observed in regard to developing strategies for health care systems across the globe. The World Health Organization (WHO) is also engaging in initiatives and mediating processes. Furthermore, advocacy is being conducted regarding a shift toward the salutogenic model from the pathogenic model. The concept behind this move was to shift from disablement to enablement and from illness to wellness, with the notion of mental health promotion (MHP) being promoted. This article attempts to discuss the MHP of elderly individuals, with special reference to the need to disseminate knowledge and awareness in the community by utilizing the resources of the health sector available in the WHO South-East Asia Region countries. We have tried to present the current knowledge gap by exploring the existing infrastructure, human resources, and financial resources. There is much to do to promote the mental health of the elderly, but inadequate facilities are available. Based on available resources, a roadmap for MHP in elderly individuals is discussed.

Keywords: Mental health promotion, Elderly, Mental healthcare needs, Resource gaps, World health organization

Core Tip: In gross domestic product South-East Asia Region Organization (SEARO) countries, the aging population is increasing exponentially; with this increment, mental health issues and care needs are increasing drastically. The mental health promotion of elderly people needs adequate awareness, enough human resources and infrastructure, good psychosocial support, the use of innovations in care, research, and reasonable funding. The mental health care needs of the elderly in SEARO countries are tremendously high, and there is a considerable gap in terms of trained human resources and infrastructure. Thus, there is a need to recognize both at-risk activities and the current care deficiencies that need to be resolved in the right direction for the potential boom that we foresee occurring in the elderly population.