Publication Date: 
Monday, December 6, 2010

Mental illness is a significant global public health issue. Disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depression put an enormous strain on afflicted individuals, their caregivers and communities. Yet in some respects, acceptance of mental illness as a key part of the broader field of public health has developed only recently. What is the emerging role of law and policy in addressing the complex problems around mental illness from a public health perspective, and what is the agenda for research to inform those efforts? This paper reviews the current evidence base on the relationship between law and mental health and offers a research agenda that situates mental health within an explicit public health framework.