A network for anyone with an interest in
adult education and mental health

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World Report on Disability

Launched on 9th June 2011 by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the World Bank, is the first ever World report on disability.

Findings suggest that there are more than a billion disabled people in the world today and disability will be an even greater concern in the future because its prevalence is on the rise. Lack of services and the obstacles they face in their everyday lives mean that generally disabled people have poorer health, lower education achievements, fewer economic opportunities and higher rates of poverty than people without disabilities. Living in a disadvantaged community  exacerbates the lack of services and obstacles faced and their impact.

The full report is 350 pages and includes chapters on education and employment. It makes for really interesting reading plus there are a number of  related resources in different formats on the WHO website at: http://www.who.int/disabilities/world_report/2011/en/index.html


Use the links below to access the following on the WHO website:

This report contributes to the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and includes recommendations for governments civil society organisations and disabled people’s organisations:

"... to create enabling environments, develop rehabilitation and support services, ensure adequate social protection, create inclusive policies and programmes, and enforce new and existing standards and legislation, to the benefit of people with disabilities and the wider community. People with disabilities should be central to these."  

What this report says about mental health disability

The report cites a global increase in the number of people with a mental health condition and provides an interesting prism through which to view our own government's mental health strategy, No health withouth mental health (2011)  and our own practice.

A review of health-related stigma found that the impact was remarkably similar in different countries and across health conditions (29). A study in 10 countries found that the general public lacks an understanding of the abilities of people with intellectual impairments (30). Mental health conditions are particularly stigmatized, with commonalities in different settings (31). People with mental health conditions face discrimination even in health care settings (24, 32).

  • users or ex-users of mental health services were found to be the most discriminated and stigmatized of all disabled people, often with deadly consequences...
  • (ex-) users of mental health services to have a lower life expectancy and more chronic health conditions than the general population.
  • People with long term mental health problems were more likely to be obese and have heart disease, high blood pressure, respiratory disease, diabetes, strokes, or breast cancer. They were also more prone to developing chronic health conditions at a younger age, and to dying sooner after diagnosis."



Resource Type: 
Online resource
Resource Publisher: 
World Health Organization (WHO)
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