The World Health Organization (WHO) released the Mental Health Atlas 2014 today.
The Mental Health Atlas series is the single most comprehensive source of global information on the mental health situation.
The latest atlas is significant as it provides baseline data against which progress towards the objectives of the Comprehensive Mental Health Action Plan 2013-2020 is to be measured.
The Action Plan has four objectives:
- To strengthen effective leadership and governance for mental health
- To provide comprehensive, integrated and responsive mental health and social care services in community-based settings
- To implement strategies for promotion and prevention in mental health
- To strengthen information systems, evidence and research for mental health
Global Reporting on Core Mental Health Indicators
- Only 33% of all Member States self-reported their ability to regularly compile mental health specific data covering at least the public sector.
- Globally, 19% Member States reported that they had not compiled mental health data in the last two years. Another 40% compiled mental health data only for general health statistics.
- When analysed based on World Bank income group, 31% of both Low and Lower-middle income countries did not compile mental health data in the last two years. This figure reduced to 17% for the Upper-middle income group countries, and declined further to 2% among the High income group countries.
Mental Health System Governance
- 68% of all Member States state the existence of a stand-alone policy or plan for mental health. However, many have not updated them in the recent past.
- For instance, in the South East Asia Regional Office (SEARO) (which includes India), 80% of member states have a stand-alone mental health policy/ plan, but only 30% have updated their policy/ plan in the last 5 years (since 2010).
- Globally, 61% of all Member States are partially implementing policies/ plans. The proportion varies from 41% to 77% across WHO Regions.
- Globally, 63% of all Member States state they have a stand-alone mental health law. However, only 18% state they have updated their legislation in the last five years.
- In SEARO, for instance, while 60% member states have a stand-alone mental health law, only 20% have updated their legislation in the last 5 years.
- The situation is worse in the WHO Regional Offices for the Americas (AMRO) and Africa (AFRO). While 50% of AMRO member states have a stand-alone mental health law, only 7% have updated their legislation in the last 5 years. In the WHO AFRO region, 55% member states have a stand-alone mental health law, but only 3% have updated their legislation in the last 5 years.
Financial and Human Resources for Mental Health
- Globally, government funding (national insurance) is the main source of funds for care and treatment of severe mental disorders in 79% member states.
- While governments in Lower middle-income countries spend US$1.53 per capita on mental health (average), the figure marginally increases to US$1.96 per capita for Upper middle-income countries. Governments in High income countries spend an average of US$58.73 per capita on mental health.
- 80% of the per capita mental health expenditure in Lower middle-income countries occurs in mental hospital settings. This value decreases to 50% in Upper middle-income countries, and falls to about 33% in High income countries.
- Globally, only 2.1% of physicians and 1.8% of nurses have received at least 2 days training in mental health in the last two years.
- Globally, the number of mental health workers per 100,000 population is 9 (that is, less than 1/10,000 population). The value varies from 1.4/100,000 population in AFRO region to 43.5/100,000 population in EURO region.
- When considered by income group, the number of mental health workers per 100,000 population as follows- Global: 9/100,000 population; Low income group countries: 0.9/100,000 population; Lower income group countries: 3.2/100,000 population; Upper income group: 15.9/100,000 population; High income group: 52.3/100,000 population
Mental Health Service Availability and Uptake
- Globally, there is 1 mental health facility/2.85 million population. The figure is 1 mental health facility/28.78 million population for SEARO.
- At the global level there are 6.5 beds/100,000 population, with 35.8 admissions/100,000 population.
- Community-based residential care facilities are almost non-existent in low-and middle-income countries. In comparison, there are 10 residential care beds/10,000 population in High income countries.
Mental Health Promotion and Prevention
- Globally, 41% of countries have at least two functioning mental health promotion and prevention programmes.
- EURO region has the most (150) programmes, while SEARO has the least (34).
Link to the press release:
Link to the Mental Health Atlas 2014:
Link to the Mental Health Action Plan 2013-2020 document: