From science to action: the Lancet Series on Global Mental Health

Curr Opin Psychiatry. 2008 Mar;21(2):109-13. doi: 10.1097/YCO.0b013e3282f43c7f.


Purpose of review: The Lancet journal has recently published a series of six articles on global mental health, with a focus on mental disorders in low-income and middle-income countries. This article provides a narrative account of the background to the series, its development and the key messages of these articles.

Recent findings: The series reports that mental disorders are so inextricably linked with other health concerns that there can be no health without mental health; mental disorders disproportionately affect the poor, and those who are disadvantaged and vulnerable; mental disorders are, even in the poorest countries of the world, a leading cause of disability and loss of economic productivity; low-cost treatments are feasible, affordable and effective for many mental disorders and these treatments can be delivered by community or general health workers; and the treatment gap approaches 90% even for the most severe disorders.

Summary: The series ends with a call for action to scale-up an evidence-based package of services for people with mental disorders, with a commitment to protect their human rights, and provides information on the costs, indicators and research strategies to support this action.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Global Health*
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders / therapy*
  • Mental Health Services / standards*
  • Publishing*
  • Science*
  • World Health Organization