10 Facts On Mental Health

Mental illness is real, here are 10 facts concerning mental health from around the world:

6. Stigma and discrimination against patients and families prevent people from seeking mental healthcare

Misunderstanding and stigma surrounding mental ill health are widespread. Despite the existence of effective treatments for mental disorders, there is a belief that they are untreatable or that people with mental disorders are difficult, not intelligent or incapable of making decisions.

This stigma can lead to abuse, rejection and isolation and exclude people from healthcare or support. Within the health system, people are too often treated in institutions that resemble human warehouses rather than places of healing.

7. Human-rights violations of people with mental and psychosocial disability are routinely reported in most countries

These include physical restraint, seclusion, and denial of basic needs and privacy. Few countries have a legal framework that adequately protects the rights of people with mental disorders.

8. Globally, there is huge inequity in the distribution of skilled human resources for mental health

Shortages of psychiatrists, psychiatric nurses, psychologists and social workers are among the main barriers to providing treatment and care in low- and middle-income countries. Low-income countries have 0.05 psychiatrists and 0.42 nurses per 100,000 people. The rate of psychiatrists in high-income countries is 170 times greater, and for nurses, is 70 times greater.

9. There are five key barriers to increasing availability of mental-health services

In order to increase the availability of mental health services, there are five key barriers that need to be overcome:

  1. the absence of mental-health from the public health agenda and the implications for funding
  2. the current organization of mental-health services
  3. lack of integration within primary care
  4. inadequate human resources for mental health
  5. lack of public mental-health leadership

10. Financial resources to increase services are relatively modest

Governments, donors and groups representing mental-health service users and their families need to work together to increase mental-health services, especially in low- and middle-income countries. The financial resources needed are relatively modest: US$2 per capita per year in low-income countries and US$3-US$4 in lower middle-income countries.