Resources for mental health: scarcity, inequity, and inefficiency

By Admin December 1, 2007

Peer reviewed: Yes.

Authors: Saxena, Shekhar and Thornicroft, Graham and Knapp, Martin and Whiteford, Harvey.

Publication: The Lancet.

Year: 2007


Method: Narrative review and discussion of the international availability of resources for mental health, including policy and infrastructure within countries, mental health services, community resources, human resources, and funding.

Message: Government spending on mental health in most of the relevant countries is far lower than is needed, based on the proportionate burden of mental disorders and the availability of cost-effective and affordable interventions. The poorest countries spend the lowest percentages of their overall health budgets on mental health. Not only are resources for mental health scarce, they are also inequitably distributed—between countries, between regions, and within communities. Populations with high rates of socioeconomic deprivation have the highest need for mental health care, but the lowest access to it. Inefficiencies in the use of available resources for mental health care include allocative and technical inefficiencies in financing mechanisms and interventions, and an overconcentration of resources in large institutions. Scarcity of available resources, inequities in their distribution, and inefficiencies in their use pose the three main obstacles to better mental health, especially in low-income and middle-income countries.

BibTeX: @article{saxena2007resources, title={Resources for mental health: scarcity, inequity, and inefficiency}, author={Saxena, Shekhar and Thornicroft, Graham and Knapp, Martin and Whiteford, Harvey}, journal={The lancet}, volume={370}, number={9590}, pages={878–889}, year={2007}, publisher={Elsevier} }