Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Depression burden set to soar

As the first global Mental Health Summit starts in Athens the World Health Organization (WHO) has predicted that within 20 years more people will be affected by depression than any other health problem. WHO figures show that over 450 million people worldwide are directly affected by mental disorders or disabilities. Most of these people live in developing countries yet such countries spend less than 2% of their national budgets on mental healthcare. Levels of depression are actually higher in poorer countries and poorer people in richer countries also have a higher incidence of depression. However, higher-income countries allocate 200 times more resources to mental-health than low-income ones. In the U.K. it is estimated that depression costs £12bn per annum - about 1% of GNP.

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