Table of Contents
International Journal of Family Medicine
Volume 2011, Article ID 590492, 7 pages
Review Article

A New Era in Mental Health Care in Vanuatu

1Health in Human Diversity Unit, Discipline of General Practice, University of Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
2Pacific Islands Mental Health Network, Port Vila, Vanuatu
3Discipline of General Practice, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, NSW, Australia
4Mental Health Policy and Service Development (MHP), Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland
5AUT Auckland & UTS Sydney, WHO PIMHnet Facilitator, Wellington, New Zealand
6Regional Adviser in Mental Health, WHO Regional Office for Western Pacific Region, Manila, Philippines
7Department of Public Health, Ministry of Health, Port Vila, Vanuatu

Received 24 December 2010; Accepted 2 February 2011

Academic Editor: M. F. Harris

Copyright © 2011 Jill Benson et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Inequity in health-care delivery for those with mental illness is widespread throughout low- and middle-income countries. In the Pacific Island countries there are many barriers to addressing the growing mental health burden. In an effort to address this problem, the WHO is coordinating the Pacific Islands Mental Health Network involving 18 countries in the Pacific region with the financial support of New Zealand Aid (NZAid). JB and DP have developed and presented mental health training to health professionals, community leaders, and social service personnel in an environment in Vanuatu that is very different from that of their usual Australian-based general practices. They discuss evidence for their work, an outline of the programme, some difficulties working across different cultures, and the enthusiasm with which the training has been greeted. Vanuatu is now well on its way to addressing the inequity of access to mental health care with a culturally appropriate and self-sustaining mental health workforce.