The unknown role of mental health in global development

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


In this paper, the author contrasts the substantial impact of mental health problems on global disability with the limited attention and resources these problems receive. The author discusses possible reasons for the disparity: Compared to physical disorders, mental health problems are considered less important, perhaps due to lower priority of disorders that primarily cause dysfunction rather than mortality, and skepticism that mental disorders are treatable in low-resource countries. He argues that achieving improved global health and development requires addressing problems causing disability, particularly mental health problems among populations in which the common mental disorders are frequent due to deprivation, war, and disasters. The author contends that services addressing the common mental disorders could be made widely and relatively cheaply accessible if provided by non-professional workers at the community level.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)241-249
Number of pages9
JournalYale Journal of Biology and Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014


  • Disability
  • Economic development
  • Global mental health
  • Low-income countries
  • Mental health programming
  • Social development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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