Challenges and priorities for global mental health research

Mon, January 14, 2019

Mental health and substance use disorders account for 7.4% of the global burden of disease, and make up the greatest economic cost of non-communicable diseases on low- and middle-income countries.

The Academy of Medical Sciences, UK has recently published the report: 'Challenges and priorities for global mental health research in low- and middle-income countries' identifying research priorities for the treatment and prevention of mental ill health, as well as enduring challenges and emerging opportunities. The economic impact of mental health disorders in 2010 was estimated at US $870bn, and this is projected to more than double by 2030.In 2011, the Grand Challenges in Global Mental Health initiative identified 25 key research challenges across six goals for the next decade that would have the greatest impact on people with mental, neurological and substance use disorders. In June 2018, the Academy held a GCRF workshop on global mental health, with 66 participants from 22 countries reflecting on the progress of the Grand Challenges, as well as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The workshop’s discussions focused on the research priorities and challenges to realise the two SDG targets relevant to mental health: universal health coverage (UHC) and prevention across the life course. While participants agreed that while the global profile of mental health has increased significantly, access to mental healthcare globally remains low. The workshop identified a number of areas for future work, including evidence-based treatments tailored to local health systems and socio-cultural contexts, the reciprocal relationship between mental health and economic wellbeing, and the need for further research into preventative care. Participants also identified a need for research on strengthening health systems, incorporating mental healthcare and the development of sustainable models of funding.

The report also influenced recent discussions at the Global Mental Health summit, which you can read more about in the academy's blog.

For more information about the workshop, please visit the project webpage here. Additionally the Academy of Medical Sciences, UK prepared an animation on the report:




mental health