Mental health affects every aspect of our lives and is just as important as our physical health. In many Western countries, the stigma surrounding mental health has all but disappeared. The growth of digital health has made access to mental health services easier, but modern stresses and bad habits often lead people to seek professional help to re-balance their lives.
The prevalence of mental health disorders and associated disease is estimated to be around 10.7% of the world population, a staggering 792 million people. The most common problems are anxiety disorders, followed by depression, and then alcohol and drug use disorders.
Here are our selection of six leading mental health facilities from around the world.
1. McLean Hospital, Belmont, Massachusetts, USA
McLean is the largest psychiatric hospital facility associated with Harvard University. The hospital has been rated the top mental health facility globally for many years and is a leader in compassionate care, research, and education. The focus is on the rapid translation of research to clinical care. The hospital has no less than seven Centres for Excellence and Innovation, namely Alcohol, Drugs, and Addiction; Depression and Anxiety Disorders; Geriatric Psychiatry; Psychotic Disorders; Women’s Mental Health; Basic Neuroscience; and the Nancy and Richard Simches Center of Excellence in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. With more than 1,900 staff members collaborating to deliver the highest order of care to the community, and a focus on positive clinical outcomes, it is no wonder that McLean has built a reputation as the best.
2. The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), Canada
Rated number one in Canada for several years in a row, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health is one of the best mental health research hospitals in the world and boasts innovations in personalised medicine, brain stimulation, and geriatric mental health. They have a brain imaging centre dedicated to studying brain chemistry, structure, function and behaviour in mental illness. The Temerty Centre for Therapeutic Brain Intervention provides brain stimulation treatment using magnetic seizure therapy (MST), electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), and repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), providing hope for people with treatment-resistant depression. The centre has developed trail-blazing treatments for Alzheimer’s and leads some of the most important pharmaceutical trials.
In the United Kingdom, one of the most reputable mental health centres is the Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust. This is one of the largest mental health and disability trusts in England, serving a population of approximately 1.7 million, with a staff of more than 7,000. The Trust boasts an Outstanding CQC rating. Their flagship programme “Respond” provides innovative training for professionals from sectors such as policing, social care and healthcare to help them understand the underlying issues in mental health care and work together collaboratively. Their pilot programme “Street Triage” pairs up a mental health nurse with dedicated police officers to care for mental health patients. This program has more than halved the number of police detentions under the Mental Health Act. The strategy at the heart of this initiative is to promote prevention, early intervention, and resilience and make mental health the cornerstone of all healthcare interventions.
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4. Clinic Les Alpes, Montreux, Switzerland
Specialising in addiction treatment and recovery, the Clinic Les Alpes is a luxury medical treatment facility situated in the stunning scenery of the Alps. The clinic assists people with substance and behavioural addictions and those with co-existing mental health problems or high-risk pre-conditions. Each patient is approached as a unique individual, focusing on the interplay between mind, body, and spirit. They focus on the common characteristics of addictions, whether substance addictions or behavioural disorders such as food, gambling, sex, cyber, pornography, or co-dependency addictions. Medical and therapeutic teams work closely with psychiatrists and clinical psychologists. Recovery therapies focus on art, counselling, group, and family therapies.
5. Institute of Mental Health, Singapore, Asia
Singapore has adopted the approach of shifting mental healthcare from an institution-based model towards a community-based model as per the Community Mental Health Masterplan. The Institute of Mental Health (IMH) is a 2,000-bed psychiatric hospital situated amidst serene surroundings on a 23-hectare campus at Buangkok Green Medical Park. It offers a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary range of psychiatric, counselling, and rehabilitative services. They sport 50 wards and seven outpatient clinics, providing evidence-based, integrated, and patient-focused care. They are a recognised centre of excellence for research, education, and clinical services in psychiatric care, delivered at the hospital or through community-based programmes, such as Sayang Wellness Centre, which provides greater comfort and privacy.
6. The Kusnacht Practice, Zurich’s Gold Coast, Switzerland
Widely regarded as the most exclusive mental health treatment facility in Europe, the Kusnacht Practice is renowned as a global leader in treating addiction and mental health disorders. Each guest is treated in their own private five-star villa and provided with the highest confidentiality, professionalism, and care standards. The Practice focuses on individualised client care and tailor-made treatments delivered by unparalleled medical experts in sophisticated surroundings with stunning views. The clinic is famous for treating anxiety, depression, burnout, stress, sleeping disorders, eating disorders and behavioural and substance dependency.
It’s important to remember that these are only a small selection of facilities dedicated to patients with mental conditions. There are countless others, and plenty of resources available today, from NHS approved digital applications such as Thrive (app for general mental wellbeing) and ThinkNinja (app aimed at helping teenagers with their mental health) to leading mental health charities such as Mind.