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Global Health
November 16, 2011

Mental Health Care Lacking

JAMA. 2011;306(19):2082. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.1646

Many patients in low- and middle-income countries have no access to basic mental health services, according to a survey by the World Health Organization (WHO) released in October (http://tinyurl.com/3j8rxl9).

The report presents data from 184 WHO member-states, which includes 98% of the world's population. New figures indicate that the need for mental health care is large, with up to 25% of the population requiring services at some point in their lives. However, resources for treatment for mental health care are scarce in many countries. In low-income countries, investment can be as low as US $0.25 per person per year. Almost half the world's population lives in a country with only 1 psychiatrist per 200 000 people.