19 October 2011

WHO World Mental Health Atlas 2011





Click here to go to the WHO page to download the report.

The WHO Mental Health Atlas 2011 represents the latest estimate of global mental health resources available to prevent and treat mental disorders and help protect the human rights of people living with these conditions.

It presents data from 184 WHO Member States, covering 95% of the world’s population. 

The focus is on mental health care governance and services.


Key messages:

1. Resources to treat and prevent mental disorders remain insufficient
  • Globally, spending on mental health is less than two US dollars per person, per year and less than 25 cents in low income countries.
  • Almost half of the world's population lives in a country where, on average, there is one psychiatrist or less to serve 200,000 people. 

2 . Resources for mental health are inequitably distributed
  • Only 36% of people living in low income countries are covered by mental health legislation. 
  • In contrast, the corresponding rate for high income countries is 92%. Dedicated mental health legislation can help to legally reinforce the goals of policies and plans in line with international human rights and practice standards. 
  • Outpatient mental health facilities are 58 times more prevalent in high income compared with low income countries. 
  • User / consumer organizations are present in 83% of high income countries in comparison to 49% of low income countries. 

3. Resources for mental health are inefficiently utilised
  • Globally, 63% of psychiatric beds are located in mental hospitals, and 67% of mental health spending is directed towards these institutions.

4. Institutional care for mental health disorders may be slowly decreasing worldwide
  • Though resources remain concentrated in mental hospitals, a modest decrease in mental hospital beds was found from 2005 to 2011 at the global level and in almost every income and regional group.

This map of mental health legislation and legislation in other laws is interesting (Page 23). Page 18 has a map on mental health policy.