A third of all countries in the world have no mental health policy or plan. In the African region, this proportion is nearly half. Moreover, nearly 40% of countries that do have policies have not revised them since 1990 (Lancet series on global mental health, 2007).
Policies are strengthened by laws that back them; but 31% of the world’s population live in a country with no mental health law. Even having a mental health act is not enough, since discrimination against people with mental disorders is sometimes codified in law.
To learn more about the status of mental health policies and legislation in low- and middle-income countries and guidelines for reform, browse these pages.