Specific initiatives

Co-ordinated efforts to improve state gender policies, to interdict violence toward women, and to empower women

The years of education women receive is the single most important determinant of their own health, the health of their children, and the health of their families. (2425) Policies that deny women full citizenship must be fought not only because they violate human rights, but also because they destroy health. Women must take leadership roles in governments, international agencies, and non-governmental organizations. Laws to ensure the protection of women against domestic violence—laws accompanied by effective enforcement—are foundation efforts for mental health.

Broad initiatives to control the causes and consequences of violence

Only far-reaching changes in international and national politics will reduce the frequency of armed conflicts. Peace and security initiatives must target violence as the major threat to social well being. Mental health concerns need to be more widely understood in peace and security programmes. The analysis of mental health issues, from the effect of racism on identity to the vicious cycles of revenge, is essential in preventing ethnic conflict.

*This chapter first appeared in Comprehensive Psychiatry, 38, 69-73, and is reproduced by permission of the publishers. Chapter References

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2. World Bank (1993). World development report—investing in health (world development indicators). Oxford University Press.

3. Eisenberg, L. (1992). Treating depression and anxiety in primary care. New England Journal of Medicine, 326, 1080-4.

4. Ustun, T.B. and Sartorius, N. (1995). Mental illness in general health care: an international study. Wiley, New York.

5. Wells, K.B., Stewart, A., Hays, R.D., et al. (1996). The functioning and well being of depressed patients: results from The Medical Outcomes Study. Journal of the American Medical Association, 262, 914-19.

6. Eisenberg, L. (1997). Sociocultural perspectives. In Epilepsy (ed. J. Engel and T.A. Pedley), pp. 41-6. Lippincott-Raven, New York.

7. World Health Organization (1996). The world health report 1996: fighting disease, fostering development. World Health Organization, Geneva.

8. Murray, C.J.L. and Lopez, A.D. (1996). The global burden of disease and injury, Vol. 1. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA.

9. Clarkin, J.F., Pilkonis, P.A., and Magruder, K.M. (1996). Psychotherapy of depression. Archives of General Psychiatry, 53, 717-23.

10. Kupfer, D.J. and Thase, M.E. (1996). Recent developments in the pharmacology of mood disorders. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 64, 646-59.

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12. Lydiard, R.B., Brawman-Mintzer, O., and Ballenger, J.C. (1996). Recent developments in the psychopharmacology of anxiety disorders. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 64, 660-8.

13. Eisenberg, L. (1992). Child mental health in the Americas: a public health approach. Bulletin of the Pan American Health Organization, 26, 230-41.

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15. Eisenberg, L. (1997). The social imperatives of medical research. Science, 198, 1105-10.

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18. UNICEF (1996). The state of the world's children in 1996. Oxford University Press, New York.

19. McCord, C. and Freeman, H.P. (1990). Excess mortality in Harlem. New England Journal of Medicine, 322, 173-7.

20. Carnegie Commission on Preventing Deadly Conflict (1996). Report to the Board of Trustees. Carnegie Corporation of New York, New York.

21. United Nations Development Program (1996). Human development report 1996. Oxford University Press, New York.

22. Sen, A. (1990). More than 100 million women are missing. New York Review of Books, 37, 61-7.

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24. Caldwell, J.C. (1986). Routes to low mortality in poor countries. Population Development Review, 12, 171-220.

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