It’s a major milestone in the fight to recognize mental health and mental illness as global issues: a comprehensive report from the Lancet Commission on Global Mental Health, three years in the making, released this past week at a London summit with royals Prince William and Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, in attendance to show their support for the cause.
But it was not a celebratory event. Threaded throughout the 45-page report is a lament that the world is ignoring millions of suffering people.
That neglect is reflected in “pitifully small” levels of financial support from governments and assistance groups for research and patient care, say the 28 mental health researchers, clinicians and advocates from across five continents who authored the report. And there are far-reaching economic as well as psychological consequences, the report notes: Untreated patients are often unable to support themselves, and sometimes their caretakers can’t work as well. more