The Lancet Commission on global mental health and sustainable development (2)

28 October, 2018

Below are the citation and selected extracts of a Comment in this week's print Lancet, on the Lancet Commission.

CITATION: Comment| volume 392, issue 10157, p1493-1494, october 27, 2018

Mental health for all: a global goal

Helen Frankish, Niall Boyce, Richard Horton


The burden of mental disorders globally is enormous, with an estimated 1·1 billion people affected by mental or substance use disorders worldwide... And when individuals do seek treatment, the quality of those treatments is often poor. For example, for those with a depressive disorder, only one in five people in high-income countries and only one in 27 people in low-income and middle-income countries receive minimally adequate treatment...

The Commission proposes that delivery of psychosocial therapies by less specialised community-based health workers or lay counsellors in routine care settings or homes, with support from specialist providers who could be remotely located, should be the foundation of a mental health-care system. Second, digital technologies should be harnessed to help educate the public and disseminate information about common mental disorders; facilitate diagnosis through digital screening tools or smartphone applications; support treatment through online self-management programmes; help training and supervision of non-specialist health workers; and support system-level efforts to improve mental health education...

Best wishes, Neil

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HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - ), a global community with more than 18,000 members in 177 countries, interacting on five global forums in three languages. He also currently chairs the Dgroups Foundation (, which supports 800 communities of practice on international development, health and social justice. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: