Image by ©UNICEF/Mark Naftalin
  • Podcast
  • 18 March 2024

Global development and mental health. What are we missing? Episode 6

Globally, over a billion people live with a mental disorder. But good data on mental health is often lacking. What can be done to plug this key information gap?

The world’s attention is limited. Today’s burning emergency becomes tomorrow’s forgotten crisis. When the media spotlight moves on, vital issues in development and humanitarian response risk being forgotten. In this podcast miniseries, Development Initiatives’ (DI’s) CEO Adrian Lovett speaks with people with deep expertise to take us beyond the headlines and explore the missing issues, missing voices and missing data as we ask: What are we missing?

In this episode we turn our attention to global development and mental health. Everyone has the right to enjoy the highest attainable level of mental health, but for far too many people, the reality is very different. According to United for Global Mental Health, over one billion people are living with a mental disorder, but many have little or no access to services or support. The problem is particularly bad in low- and middle-income countries, where according to the World Health Organization, over three-quarters of people with severe mental disorders receive no treatment. On top of this, good data on mental health is often lacking. So what can be done to plug this vital information gap?

Our guests are:

  • Sarah Kline is the co-founder and CEO of United for Global Mental Health, the first international NGO dedicated to increasing political and financial support for mental health around the world. Sarah is an internationally recognised expert in mental health advocacy. She has worked at a range of organisations including the World Health Organization, the World Bank, the UK government and Oxfam.
  • Stephanie Whiteman is an Assistant Lecturer in Public Health in the Faculty of Medical Sciences at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill. Stephanie is currently pursuing a PhD in Epidemiology, exploring the role of the retail food environment on individual dietary habits, and is a passionate youth advocate, frequently collaborating with the Healthy Caribbean Coalition, NCD Child and UNICEF.

For more on some of the issues covered in this episode:

If you feel you are in need of mental health support, please visit Find A Helpline who have identified over 1,600 free and confidential support resources available over phone, text or web chat.

Read more from DI

Visit our blog page to read more views on the latest topics