Launching of new World Bank report –Ukraine: Mental Health in Transition, in collaboration with IMC and WHO

World Bank Ukraine
Publication date: 
1 November 2017

The preliminary findings of a new World Bank report –Ukraine: Mental Health in Transition—were disseminated recently in Kiev. The report was based on a comprehensive mental health assessment jointly conducted by World Bank and International Medical Corp of mental health with financial support from the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation. The report indicates that one-third of the population in Ukraine experienced at least one mental disorder in their lifetime, which is significantly higher than the international average. Gender differences with depression and anxiety disorders are more common among women and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and alcohol use disorders among men.

Yet, most people (up to 75%) with common mental disorders and alcohol use disorders do not access adequate mental health care. Stigma and discrimination, fear of having a public record, and availability of services are major barriers. The mental health services are still centralized around psychiatry facilities, and the report recommends that mental health services be decentralized from hospital-based care toward outpatient care and community-based services, including integration with primary health care and other social services platforms. The report underlines the need for overall health reform in Ukraine and the importance of integrating mental health services into the reform.

In addition to improving the well-being of the population, investing in mental health will have significant economic returns. The report estimated that over 4.7 million years of healthy lives can be restored by the year 2030 with scale-up of selected mental disorders treatment in Ukraine. The economic value of restored productivity over this period amounts to more than $800 million for depression and $350 million for anxiety disorders, which means that for every $1 invested in scaled-up treatment of common mental disorders in Ukraine, there will be $2 in restored productivity and added economic value.

It is time to pay more attention to mental health.