People with severe mental health conditions in poor nations need better treatment, says WHO

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 20 September 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c5173
  1. John Zarocostas
  1. 1Geneva

    People with severe mental health conditions are among the most marginalised groups in developing countries, and 75-85% of them can’t get any form of mental health treatment and care, says a World Health Organization report.

    In rich nations the proportion of people with severe mental health conditions who don’t receive the treatment they need is between 35% and 50%, it says.

    Margaret Chan, WHO’s director general, said, “Almost three quarters of the global burden of neuropsychiatric disorders occurs in low and middle income countries. We can measure the costs to individuals, families, societies, and economies. And the costs of these disorders . . . are enormous.”

    But in many countries mental health issues “have been omitted from national development strategies,” the report …

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