Every country in the world is facing a mental health crisis, according to a commission of 28 global mental health experts assembled by the Lancet medical journal.
The Commission says there is a “collective failure to respond to this global health crisis, which results in monumental loss of human capabilities and avoidable suffering”.
“The quality of mental health services is routinely worse than the quality of those for physical health. Government investment and development assistance for mental health remain pitifully small,” it says in its report.
Previous World Bank research had found that $16 trillion will be lost to the global economy by 2030 due to people of working age incapacitated by mental health problems.
Prof Vikram Patel of the Harvard Medical School, the Commission leader, said mental ill health caused “colossal human suffering”.
He said substantial numbers of deaths resulting from mental ill health were attributed to other causes. Suicides are attributed to deaths from injuries and opioid deaths are considered to be drug misuse instead of being attributed to underlying mental health issues.
The Commission proposes that the global mental agenda should be expanded from a focus on reducing the treatment gap, to improving the mental health of whole populations and reducing the global burden of mental disorders by addressing gaps in prevention and quality of care.
The Commission outlines a blueprint for action to promote mental wellbeing, prevent mental health problems, and enable recovery from mental disorders.Letters to the EditorShare your thoughts on this article or anything else important to you as nurses and midwives by sending a Letter to the Editor.Four letters are published in the Lamp each month and the letter chosen as Letter of the Month will win a gift card. Please include a high-resolution photo along with your name, address, phone and membership number. You can submit your letter by emailing the Lamp:firstname.lastname@example.org
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