The Problem

Mental Health

“Fewer than 1 in 5 people in developing countries receive treatment or support for Mental Health conditions”

Mental health conditions are overwhelming experienced by those in low and middle-income countries, where fewer than 1 in 5 receive treatment. By 2020, the World Health Organisation predicts that depression, which is twice as likely to affect women, will be the second largest contributor to the global disease burden. The provisions for mental health treatment in developing countries are extremely scarce and are seen as a luxury that few can afford.

Mental health conditions disproportionately affect those living in extreme poverty; it is a cause and a consequence. There continues to be considerable stigma surrounding the issue of mental health. Those suffering can face discrimination and exclusion, which prevent them from seeking mental health care and further exacerbates their situation.

Women are disproportionately exposed to risk factors which are common in mental health disorders, these include gender based violence, socioeconomic disadvantage, low income and income inequality, low social status and the responsibility for the care of others.

Mental health is not just a medical concern. The adverse effects of mental health have larger implications for development as a whole. Mental health has been defined as “the invisible problem in international development”. We need to act now to break the vicious cycle of poverty and mental health. Click here for our solution.