Mental disorders are on the rise in every country in the world and will cost the global economy $16 trillion by 2030, according to a new Lancet Commission report on mental health released on Tuesday. It exposes a “collective failure to respond to this global health crisis,” causing long-lasting and preventable harm to people, communities and economies.
In India, over 60 million people suffer from some form of mental illness. And an old report had said that by 2030, mental illness will reduce economic growth in India and China by $11 trillion.
Commission Joint Lead Editor, Professor Vikram Patel of the Harvard Medical School, said:
Mental health is the foundation of human capability that makes each life worthwhile and meaningful. It is for this reason that there can be no sustainable development without attention to mental health
“Anyone who cares about poverty, education, social cohesion or economic progress should work to improve mental health, putting the vast knowledge we have on promotion, prevention and care, into action.”
The report shows that in many countries, people with mental disorders still routinely suffer gross human rights violations – including shackling, torture and imprisonment. Bringing attention to these kinds of abuse and discrimination, the Commission calls for a human rights-based approach to ensure that people with mental health conditions are not denied any of their fundamental human rights – not just to health but also to employment and education, among others.
Mental health affects everyone, either directly or through our relatives and close friends. There has been great progress in research and awareness over the last decades, but as the Lancet Commission shows too many people are still left behind.
We’ve seen a rise in mental illness in young people when, with all the knowledge we have, we should be seeing a decreaseProfessor Helen Herrman, President of the World Psychiatric Association
“Treatment in hospitals needs to be complemented by care in the communities to bring mental health services to the masses”.
The Commission has inspired a group of Young Leaders to launch a campaign to fight stigma, create a worldwide community and raise awareness, targeted at under-35s.
The Commission recommends a wholesale shift to community-based care. It recommends the delivery of psychosocial interventions by community health workers, peers and a range of other providers, such as teachers and the clergy, as well as medical professionals working in primary care, to provide the foundation of the mental health care system.
Among the Commission’s key recommendations is a new Global Partnership to mobilise funds, help drive on-the-ground change and hold governments accountable. This Partnership would bring together allies from across the diverse global mental health community and beyond.