The Journal International Health has recently featured a sepcial issue on global mental health, including an article on maternal depression in LMICs and mental health in humanitarian settings authored by CGMH staff members Dr. Charlotte Hanlon and Dr. Mark Jordans and others respectively.
The global lifetime prevalence of mental disorders is between 12.2% and 48.6 %,1 while the burden of disease attributable to neuropsychiatric disorders is more than 13%.2 Over 70% of this burden lies in low and middle-income countries (LAMICs)2 and is projected to increase by 2030.3 Traditionally, mental disorders are seen as contributing significantly to morbidity and less so to mortality. However, suicide is one of the leading causes of death globally for all ages,4 with nearly 900 000 people taking their own lives each year.5 Despite these staggering figures, it has been estimated that in LAMICs as many as four out of five people with a severe mental disorder will not receive any form of treatment—known as the ‘treatment gap’.6 In addition, mental disorders receive little global priority and have not received meaningful visibility, policy attention or funding.7 The World Economic Forum has estimated that the global impact of mental disorders in the next 20 years due to lost economic output is likely to exceed US$16 trillion.8
Low income countries spend about 0.5% of their total health spending on mental health, and while middle income countries spend four times as much on mental health (2.4%), the percentage remains pitiful.7 While the equivalent figure in high income countries (5.1%) is markedly higher, it does not come close to matching the actual burden of mental disorders in these countries.7 At the policy level, as many as 44% of African countries do not even have a mental health policy while 33% do not have a mental health plan.7 However, other regions have shown more progress, as described by Caldas de Almeida in this issue of International Health (p. 15).9 Caldas de Almeida argues that while significant progress has been made …
Nothing About Us, Without Us - Voices from the Global South
28th-29th November 2015
Movement For Global Mental Health is delighted to announce the fourth Global Mental Health Summit to be held at the TISS Campus in Mumbai, India on the 28th and 29th of November 2015. The focus of this year’s Global Health Summit, themed “Nothing About Us, Without Us”, will be driven mainly by persons living with mental health issues from different social, cultural and educational ecosystems. The aim is to bring to the forefront voices of individuals from marginalized backgrounds, those who are rarely represented in discussions related to the mental health agenda.
Download the Agenda