The Mental Health and Poverty Project
Room 11.14, Social Sciences Building
Leeds Development Studies Seminar Series
'Breaking the negative cycle of mental ill health and poverty: The Mental Health and Poverty Project'
Speaker: Philippa Bird, Nuffield Centre for International Health and Development
The growing burden of mental health problems is increasingly recognised worldwide. It is estimated that mental disorders will make up 15% of the global burden of disease by the year 2020. In low-income countries, alongside the high and growing burden of mental disorders there is increasing evidence of an association between poverty and mental ill-health. Furthermore, people with mental disorders experience poor access to treatment and support services and suffer stigma and discrimination in their everyday lives.
Despite this, many African countries rely on mental health legislation, policy and plans that are out-dated and the majority of African countries spend less than 1% of their government health budget on mental health.
The purpose of the Mental Health and Poverty Project (MHaPP) is to develop, implement and evaluate mental health policy in poor countries. We are working to provide new knowledge regarding comprehensive multi-sectoral approaches to breaking the negative cycle of poverty and mental ill-health. MHaPP is a 5-year project funded by DfID, with partners in Ghana, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia, each of which are at a different stage of mental health policy development and implementation.
In this presentation I will provide a background to mental health in low-income countries. I will then discuss the findings from the situation analysis of mental health policies and systems in four African countries and the next steps for the project.
Room 11.14 is located on Level 11 (the first floor) of the Social Sciences Building.