Global mental health: the role of psychiatry



Despite the huge personal and social impact of mental illnesses, mental health globally is widely neglected and marginalised. A conceptual change in thinking, from the biomedical to a public health model, is essential for integrating mental health services into health systems across the globe. This article discusses the burden of mental health globally, resources available to tackle the massive burden, WHO’s mental health Gap Action Programme (mhGAP) on scaling up services with a special focus on low- and middle-income countries, and the paradigm shift required in psychiatry as the way forward.


Global Mental health Mental disorders Burden Resources 


Conflict of interest statement



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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mental Health and Substance AbuseWorld Health OrganizationGeneva 27Switzerland

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