Area of focus

Mental health

Mental health conditions are growing globally but can often be prevented and treated with the right care. Yet, mental health spending is often the first to be cut in tight economic conditions.

Mental health

Facts and figures

It’s a widespread problem

1

billion

people are living with a mental health disorder.

1 in 8

people

are affected worldwide.

1 in 7

adolescents

are affected globally.

1 in 5

people

who have experienced conflict are affected.


It’s untreated and costly

75%

treatment gap

estimated for youth in low and middle-income countries.

$1

trillion

yearly cost the global economy, which is projected to increase to $16 trillion by 2030.

12

billion

productive workdays are lost every year to depression and anxiety.

1%

GDP

This burden could amount to nearly one percent of a country’s GDP.


It’s under-resourced

<1

mental health worker

per 100,000 people in low- and middle-income countries.

2.1%

government health expenditure

is allocated to mental health.

0.5%

of philanthropic health spending

goes to mental health.


WHO’s role in
mental health

Shaper

The World Health Organization (WHO) shapes the health research agenda and convenes scientists and experts from all over the world, using its monitoring and assessment of global health data and trends.

Regulator

WHO sets norms and standards to ensure access to safe solutions to mental health, respectful of citizens’ rights and privacy.

Convener

WHO has the power to convene governments, leading NGOs, philanthropists, and private sector executives to discuss and adopt evidence-based policy options that improve health systems.

More on WHO’s work here