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Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Print version ISSN 0042-9686

Bull World Health Organ vol.80 n.6 Genebra Jun. 2002

http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0042-96862002000600029 

Mental health: the needs dwarf the resources

Mental, neurological and behavioural disorders are now thought to account for 12.3% of the global disease burden but most countries give low priority to this problem, according to the latest information. Published by WHO in Atlas: country profiles on mental health resources and at URL: http://mh-atlas.ic.gc.ca/, the data indicate that 40% of countries have no mental health policy, 25% have no legislation in the field of mental health, and about a third of them spend less than 1% of their health budget on activities related to mental health. In many parts of Africa and Asia there is less than one psychiatrist per million population.