Call for Action

The 2007 Lancet series on global mental health made the following call for action:

"We call for the global health community, governments, donors, multilateral agencies, and other mental health stakeholders, such as professional bodies and consumer groups, to scale up the coverage of services for mental disorders in all countries, but especially in low-income and middle-income countries.

To scale up services for mental disorders we ask that:

  1. Government ministries should identify and scale up a priority package of service interventions or components that can form the backbone of a national mental health system that provides effective interventions and human rights protection.
  2. International donors, multilateral and lending agencies, and governments of high-income countries—especially those that benefit from the so-called brain drain—must place mental health on their priority agenda for health assistance to low-income and middle-income countries, and match this pledge with substantial increases in resource allocation.
  3. Government ministries should place mental health service development on a more secure financial footing:
  • Prepare detailed financial plans that not only assess the existing and projected service needs of their populations but also appraise constraints in human and other resources
  • Increase budget allocations for mental health, and aim to attain a minimum level of investment of US$2 per head in low-income countries and $3–4 in lower middle-income countries
  1. Government and intergovernmental agencies must strengthen their data-collection and monitoring mechanisms, and entrust the task of monitoring and reporting to national or regional committees with intersectoral representation.
  2. National and international stakeholders in health research, such as research councils, donors, and universities, must increase resources for priority research in mental health, build research capacity, and improve the dissemination of findings from such research.” 

Now we need political will and solidarity, above all from the global health community, to translate evidence into action. The time to act is now.


Chisholm D, Flisher AJ, Lund C, et al. Scale up services for mental disorders: a call for action. Lancet. 2007;370(9594):1241-52.