10 Things to know about Mental Health

Publication date: 
18 May 2016

Mental disorders affect one in four of us over a lifetime. It’s a huge cost to our health care systems and to the global economy, and it affects some of the world’s most vulnerable people. Yet it is severely underfunded, leaving millions of people without treatment. In 2015, the world took a huge step forward by including mental health in the new global development agenda, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). But what is next for mental health? And who will pay for it? With 194 countries signed up to the World Health Organization’s Mental Health Action Plan 2013-2020 and mental health targets in the SDGs, now is the time to act. Those living with mental health disorders are often the most vulnerable groups in society and if we are truly to ‘leave no one behind’, as the SDGs seek to do, mental health must be prioritised in health policies and budgets.

Mental health in the SDGs:

Goal 3, target 4 By 2030, reduce by one third premature mortality from non-communicable diseases through prevention and treatment and promote mental health and wellbeing.

Goal 3, target 5 Strengthen the prevention and treatment of substance abuse, including narcotic drug abuse and harmful use of alcohol.

Goal 3, target 8 Achieve universal health coverage, including financial risk protection, access to quality essential health-care services and access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all.