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

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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.


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.

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