In a report issued on Tuesday, July 14th, the WHO calls for more investment in mental health in poor countries, as well as in rich countries.
It is a well-known fact that as economic, military, as well as geopolitical situations become more and more dire, the mental instability of the individuals in these zones tends to worsen. To this extent, the World Health Organization (WHO) has conducted research to determine exactly how much need we have for doctors who can treat mental disorders.
The results show staggering results, as every one individual in ten has some sort of mental disorder. However, only a mere 1 percent of the doctors of the world are involved in the treatment of such problems. This may well lead to bigger and bigger problems in the future, the WHO warns. The main issue as to why, in developed countries where there are more doctors, those affected are not seeking help is the social stigma attributed to these kinds of ailments.
Dr. Shekhar Saxena, working as a Director for the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Department with the WHO said that shockingly low numbers are involved financially-wise when it comes to financing mental health research, treatment. There is also a shortage in the number of people qualified to undergo these kinds of tasks. Furthermore, there are many who are qualified, yet prefer more trivial, simple jobs.
The study has also confirmed the obvious that countries which find themselves amidst troubling times have an increased number of mental health cases, with a decrease in the funds allocated to their respective treatment. This is not necessarily due to a will to save money, but a lack of money in general. And mental health funding is among the first to be cut.
Suicide and depression level sky-rocket when in times of economic uncertainty.
The study also underlined the big differences which exist between developed and underdeveloped countries in terms of mental health treatment. In about half of the world’s countries, the average shows that not even one psychiatrist for every 100,000 people. In the more developed areas, there is one doctor for 2 thousand people. The number there is higher, but still, one man cannot handle so many cases.
PTSDs, anxiety, and depression rates are very varied between the countries in the study. This suggests that there are local factors that lay their part in this. Other, more constantly widespread disorders are the more severe of mental problems like schizophrenia, or bipolar disorder. The rates for these are relatively constant, no matter what country you’re in.
This is an alarm signal that the WHO is trying to raise. Let’s hope countries’ administrations will begin to take mental health more and more seriously.
Image source: bbc.co.uk