Shekhar Saxena, MD

Director of the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse (MSD) at WHO

Dr. Shekhar Saxena, Director of the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse (MSD) at WHO’s Headquarters Office, is the joint leader of the Mental Health Innovation Network. Dr Saxena is a psychiatrist with about 30 years of experience in research and program management, service delivery and information systems in the areas of mental health, especially in low and middle income countries. He was one of the writers of the World Health Report 2001 on mental health and an editor and author in the Lancet Series on Global Mental Health 2007 and the Lancet Series on Global Mental Health 2011. He led WHO’s Mental Health Atlas and WHO Assessment Instrument for Mental Health Systems (WHO-AIMS), which have been used in more than 80 countries, and is responsible for implementation of WHO’s mental health Gap Action Program on scaling up care for mental, neurological and substance use disorders in low and middle income countries. His current responsibilities include implementing the WHO Comprehensive Mental Health Action Plan 2013-2020.
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