Making Mental Health a Global Development Priority

Depression and anxiety disorders may affect as many as 500 million people globally. These psychological traumas are emotionally painful and distressing experiences that overwhelm an individual’s ability to cope. Symptoms include intrusive flashbacks, hypervigilance, avoidance behavior and frequent, unwarranted, extreme distress. Such disorders often prohibit people from working or studying, from being a nurturing part of their families, from participating in their communities in a positive way. Aid and development activities fail when a substantial part of the society to be served is suffering from psychological disorders, and it plays a role in diminishing potential for peace.

The United Nations is emphasizing mental health issues as a development concern, as evidenced by a recent conference organized by the World Bank and World Health Organization highlighting the consequences of psychological trauma. According to a new WHO-led study, every US$ 1 invested in scaling up treatment for depression and anxiety leads to a return of US$ 4 in better health and ability to work. #mentalhealthnow

See this video from the World Bank for more information:

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