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WHO Releases Report Highlighting Global Underinvestment In Mental Health Care As World Commemorates Mental Health Day

The WHO “is calling on governments to increase services for people suffering from mental, neurological and substance use disorders,” VOA News reports. The WHO’s “Mental Health Atlas 2011,” “released to coincide with World Mental Health Day, which falls on October 10, finds countries all over the world spend very little on the treatment of mental illness,” according to VOA (Schlein, 10/9). According to the report, “One in four people will require mental health care at some point in their lives but in many countries only two percent of all health sector resources are invested in mental health services,” a WHO press release states (10/7).

“Figures show up to 50 percent of people suffering from mental disorders in Europe and North America do not receive treatment, and up to 85 percent of people in developing countries do not receive treatment,” VOA writes (10/9). In related news, a blog in the Independent reports on the theme of this year’s Mental Health Day, “Investing in Mental Health,” and, highlights a report published in the journal Nature in July of this year, calling for “greater research, reducing stigma and caring for those with mental health problems” (Barmania, 10/10).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.