World Federation for Mental Health
World Federation for Mental Health

About WFMH

Who We Are

WFMH is an international membership organization founded in 1948 to advance,

among all peoples and nations, the prevention of mental and emotional disorders, the

proper treatment and care of those with such disorders, and the promotion of mental

health. The Federation, through its members and contacts in more than 100 countries

on six continents, has responded to international mental health crises through its role

as the only worldwide grassroots advocacy and public education organization in the

mental health field. Its organizational and individual membership includes mental

health workers of all disciplines, consumers of mental health services, family members,

and concerned citizens. The organization’s broad and diverse membership makes

possible collaboration among governments and non-governmental organizations to

advance the cause of mental health services, research, and policy advocacy worldwide.

Vision, Mission, Goals


The World Federation for Mental Health envisions a world in which mental health is a priority for all people. Public policies and programs reflect the crucial importance of mental health in the lives of individuals.


The mission of the World Federation for Mental Health is to promote the advancement of mental health awareness, prevention of mental disorders, advocacy, and best practice recovery focused interventions worldwide.


  • To heighten public awareness about the importance of mental health, and to gain understanding and improve attitudes about mental disorders.
  • To promote mental health and prevent mental disorders.
  • To improve the care, treatment and recovery of people with mental disorders.

The Federation's Principles


1.  Adults and children in all communities shall be made aware of the importance of mental health, and of the recognition and response to treatment of mental illness and disability.


2.  Families and Caregivers, and Mental Health Service Users/Consumers, will participate in all the health and social service departments and committees of member countries.


3.  Local services for mental illness and disability shall be given equal consideration for resource allocation to those of physical illness in every country.


4.  Mental illness and disability shall be equally represented with physical illness in the proceedings and resolutions of the United Nations, the World Bank and the World Health Organization, and through them of governments.


5.  Human rights abuse, malpractice or discrimination, or bad living or working conditions for users/consumers and those who care for them, including professional and voluntary workers shall be widely reported and governments held accountable.


6.  There will be mental health associations in all countries to advocate for improvements in mental health, better provision of services for those with mental illness and disability, and to provide voluntary services.


7.  There will be a fair distribution of medicines and other forms of therapy.


8.  There will be an efficient means of communicating and disseminating policy, educational, technological and scientific information on mental health from those who have it to those who do not.


9.  There will be an effective program for encouraging advocacy and research in the prevention of mental illness and disability and in the promotion of mental health.


10.  There will be no race, age, gender, religious or cultural discrimination in the provision of mental health services.


Adopted by the Board of Directors, August 2007




  • Support member organizations to facilitate advocacy and change, and to encourage interaction, networking and mutual support on a global level


§  Strengthen and enhance WFMH’s global advocacy network and its recognition as the only international networking organization for mental health professional, consumer/caregiver, and advocacy organizations and interested individuals


§  Identify and analyze major overarching issues within the international mental health sector that are not being adequately addressed, and design, fund and implement strategic initiatives to raise such issues to a higher level of public awareness, policy attention, and systems change


§  Design, fund, establish and maintain within the WFMH Secretariat staffed programs to provide concentrated leadership in such primary mission areas as promotion and prevention, mental health advocacy training and human rights, international constituency development, mental health of refugees, global mental health education/awareness, reduction of stigma and discrimination


§  Streamline and modernize the Federation’s organizational governance structure, procedures for electing its governing body, regional structure and representation, policies and procedures, and branding/identity package in order to better support its revised vision, mission, goals and strategic objectives


  • Design, sanction, and implement comprehensive resource generation and membership development plans and strategies to adequately support the organization’s vision, mission, goals and to achieve its strategic objectives.


Adopted September 2004 by the WFMH Board of Directors



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Contact Us

World Federation for

Mental Health

PO BOX 807

Occoquan, VA 22125



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