WHO's response to the lack of available mental health services in low- and middle-income countries: mhGAP

The website of the World Health Organization
(WHO) on the WHO Mental Health Gap Action
Programme (mhGAP) opens by stating
that “mental, neurological, and substance use
disorders are common in all regions of the
world, affecting every community and age group across
all income countries. While 14% of the global burden
of disease is attributed to these disorders, most of the
people affected - 75% in many low-income countries -
do not have access to the treatment they need”.1
The term ‘gap’ refers to this lack of available services.
The relative lack of mental health professionals in lowand
lower-middle-income countries, as shown in figure
1, may serve as an illustration.

P. Scholte | 2014
MT : bulletin of the Netherlands society of tropical medicine and international health, ISSN 0166-9303 | 52 | 2 | juni | 3-6