Good mental health affects the physical health of the population, children’s educational achievement and their future prospects as adults, social capital (amount of trust and reciprocity) in communities and the economy. As one of many non-communicable diseases or NCDs, mental health is often overlooked whilst setting up global health priorities and from funding opportunities. Several Be-cause health member organisations and partners work on mental health programmes in developing countries, exchange practices and findings and aim to obtain more buy-in from fellow practitioners and policy makers. Be-cause health remains open as a forum to share field experiences and research on the topic.
Good mental health is important for several reasons. It affects the physical health of the population, children’s educational achievement and their future prospects as adults, social capital (amount of trust and reciprocity) in communities and the economy. At a global scale, more than half of the population lives in countries with only 1 psychiatrist per 200.000 people.
Mental health is an essential component of strong health systems and is vital for the economic and social development of low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). Mental, Neurological and Substance-use (MNS) disorders are prevalent in all regions of the world. Globally they account for 10.4% of Disability-Adjusted Life Years (DALYs), 2.3% of years of life lost due to premature mortality (YLLs1) and 28.5% of years lived with disability (YLDs). Worldwide, as measured in YLDs, depression is the most disabling disorder. It is expected to rise from the fourth to the second leading cause of global disease burden by 2030 (Mathers & Loncar, 2006).