Costs, effects and return on investment of scaling up mental health services in low and middle income countries
Most low-income and middle-income countries spend less than US$2 per year per person on the treatment and prevention of mental disorders compared with an average of more than $50 in high-income countries.
A substantial gap exists between the need for treatment and its availability. This large treatment gap affects not just the health and wellbeing of people with mental disorders and their families, but also has inevitable consequences for employers and governments as a result of diminished productivity at work, reduced rates of labour participation, foregone tax receipts, and increased health and other welfare expenditures.
Estimation of the human, physical and financial capital needed to develop or scale-up prioritised interventions is a task that can usefully be undertaken in order to demonstrate the existing funding gap and to indicate how it could be bridged over time.
- Develop, test and apply a fully integrated health systems resource planning and health impact tool for mental, neurological and substance use (MNS) disorders.
- Apply this tool to national and global investment cases for a scaled-up response to the public health and economic burden of depression and anxiety disorders.
- Generate new understanding and insights into the current extent of financial protection and service provision in a range of LMIC, as well as future resource needs and mechanisms for moving closer towards the goal of universal health coverage for MNS disorders.