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[afro-nets] New WHO Mental Health Atlas

New WHO Mental Health Atlas Shows Global Mental Health Resources
Remain Inadequate
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*Geneva*
To mark World Mental Health Day, 10 October, the World Health
Organization (WHO) publishes the newly updated/World Health Or-
ganization Mental Health Atlas 2005.

It shows that global resources for people suffering from mental
and neurological disorders are grossly insufficient to address
the growing burden of mental health needs, and are unequally
distributed around the world. The 2005 edition is an update of
the first Mental Health Atlas 2001, and contains the most com-
plete global data available on mental health resources. It shows
no substantial change in global mental health resources since
2001, while there continue to be marked and growing differences
in availability between high- and low-income countries.

For example, while the survey of 192 countries does show a
slight increase in the total number of psychiatrists from 3.96
to 4.15 per 100,000 people worldwide, distribution across re-
gions ranges from 9.8 in Europe to just 0.04 in Africa. This
disparity has increased since 2001. The Atlas notes that many
countries continue to spend only a very small proportion of
their total health budget on mental health. One fifth of the
more than 100 countries supplying figures to the survey spend
less than 1% of their health budget on mental health. This is in
stark contrast to WHO's estimate that 13% of all disease burden
is caused by the wide range of neuro-psychiatric disorders.

WHO has placed the entire Atlas database on an interactive web-
site at: http://www.who.int/mental_health/evidence/atlas/

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