Mental health is one of the greatest challenges of our time. Vikram Patel, director of the Centre for Global Mental Health, calls for a model of community-based intervention that empowers ordinary individuals to plug the resource gap and provide quality health care for their peers.
Mental health is one of the greatest challenges of our time.
The World Health Organization estimates that by 2030, depression will be the leading cause of the global burden of disease, and the UK Home Office assesses its economic and social cost as greater than that of crime. And yet the resources devoted to tackling poor mental health are still critically low, and the burgeoning crisis has yet to receive the urgent attention it needs. The failure of the global community to address the health and social care needs of people affected by these problems has been described as a 'failure of humanity'.
While it would come as no surprise to learn that there are large gaps in access to care in developing countries, the real puzzle is that despite the apparent richness of resources, large proportions of people do not access such care even in developed countries.
Professor Vikram Patel, joint director of the Centre for Global Mental Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, visits the RSA to argue for the model of community-based intervention that prevails in the developing world to be utilised as a template for the developed one. By empowering ordinary individuals to deliver urgent mental health care in their communities, we can use the human resources readily available in our neighbourhoods to help tackle one of society’s greatest predicaments.
Speaker: Vikram Patel is joint director of the Centre for Global Mental Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and the co-founder of
Chair: Clare Allan, a Guardian Society columnist on mental health issues, and author of the bestselling Poppy Shakespeare.