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10 October: World Mental Health Day

Within 20 years more people will be affected by depression than any other health problem, the World Health Organization predicts.


In 2007, the Global Forum and WHO published jointly a study whose findings confirm the pressing need to improve research capacity in mental health in low- and middle-income countries and fill research gaps that obstruct equity in health research.

"We have figures to show that poorer countries have actually more depression compared to richer countries and even poor people in rich countries have a high incidence of depression compared to the richer people in the same countries," Dr Saxena, WHO, reported to the BBC during the Global Mental Health Summit, held in Athens on 2 September 2009. Yet high-income countries allocate 200 times more resources to mental health than low-income ones. (See interview here).

The Global Mental Health Summit was organized by the Movement for Global Mental Health. This Movement is a global network of individuals and institutions that has emerged from the recent Lancet series of articles on Global Mental Health. Its goal is to implement the final Call for Action article of the Series, which demands the scaling up of treatments for mental disorders, the human rights of those affected to be protected, and more research in low- and middle-income countries. The Global Forum for Health Research has been an institutional partner of the Movement since its creation.