Statistics show the troubling facts about rampant mental health issues around the world. As this article shows, 'more than 350 million people suffer from depression;' the leading factor to mental health issues. While communicable diseases have decreased, mental health issues have remained stagnant in society over the last twenty years.
Despite these problematic statistics, global health agendas and access to care fail to prioritize mental health issues. In fact, 75 % of people suffering from mental health issues have no access to help in low income countries, (while 35-50% of sufferers in high-income countries have no access to care).
While this article uses troubling language (such as 'mental illness' instead of 'mental health' or 'mental health issues'), it useful points out effective strategies for prioritizing mental health. Moreover, it argues that while the economic cost of treatment is high, refusing to help will lead to a loss in economic productive, decreased happiness, and even loss of life.
While many communicable diseases have been shrinking in terms of the number of people they affect over the last two decades, the global burden of mental illness has largely remained the same. All forms of mental illness – including depression, anxiety and schizophrenia – account for nearly a quarter of all disability worldwide, and cause the most disability for those in the most productive age demographic, from 15 to 39 years old. Mental illness is not just a problem in high-income countries. In developing countries, mental and behavioral disorders constitute nearly 22 percent of the total burden of disability in 1990. Little seems to have changed since then: These disorders made up virtually the same proportion of disability in the population in 2010 (just under 23 percent).