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       Can Developing Economies Afford to Ignore Mental Health?

Center for Mental Health Initiatives
Department of Mental Health
Bloomberg School of Public Health

March 18, 2010
1:00-5:00 pm Wolfe Street Building, E 2014

Sommer Hall

Countries trying to develop in the face of adversity (e.g. conflict, HIV, disasters) face impediments not just in infrastructure development but also in human development.  Establishing a physically and mentally healthy populace is a necessary component for promoting development in low-resource countries. Health problems that chronically impair functioning are likely to cause significant social and economic problems by both reduced social and economic contribution by the individual and the increased resources required to care for them.

As publicized in the WHO and Harvard University ‘Global Burden of Disease’ reports, common mental illnesses constitute the major cause of dysfunction both globally and specifically in poor countries.  

The symposium will bring together leaders in this burgeoning field to discuss the progress that has been made in our understanding of mental health needs and services in developing economies and barriers that still remain in providing appropriate and adequate services globally.

 This symposium is open to the Johns Hopkins community of faculty, staff and students and to the public. It is free of charge, although registration is required. For additional information about this event please contact Jaimie Toroney (

To learn more about work in global mental health being done at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, please go to the Applied Mental Health Research Group (AMHR) or the Department Websites.  If you are interested in coursework, please check out the offerings in our summer institute.

To learn more about current issues in global mental health, please look at the Lancet series:

Presenters at the Symposium (journal publications listed below are available from Jaimie Toroney):

Vikram Patel, MD, PhD
Professor of International Mental Health & Wellcome Trust Senior Clinical Research Fellow in Tropical Medicine, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine & Sangath, Goa India.

Presentation: The stage is set for new possibilities in global mental health 

Related Publications:
The future of psychiatry in low and middle income countries
Packages of Care for Mental, Neurological, and Substance Use Disorders in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

Florence Baingana, MB ChB, M Med Psychiatry
Research Fellow, Makerere University School of Public Health
Research Fellow, Personal Social Services Research Unit, London School of Economics and Political Science

Presentation: The decision to integrate mental health into primary health care: Uganda case study

Related reports and publication:
World Bank information sheet on Mental Health
Mental Health and Conflicts: Conceptual Framework and Approaches

Martin Knapp, PhD
Professor of Social Policy, London School of Economics and Political Science
Professor of Health Economics, Institute of Psychiatry

Presentation: How economics influences the case for mental health on the world stage

Related Publications:
Economic barriers to better mental health practice and policy
Barriers in the mind: promoting an economic case for mental health in low- and middle-income countries
- Health economics and psychiatry: the pursuit of efficiency (available from
Jaimie Toroney)

Shekhar Saxena, MD
Programme Manager, Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse
Coordinator, Evidence, Research and Action on Mental and Brain Disorders
World Health Organization

Presentation: WHO Cares: Advancing the cause of global mental health

Related reports and publication:
WHO: Scaling up care for mental, neurological, and substance use disorders.
Scale up services for mental disorders: a call for action 
- To learn more about the work of the WHO and global mental health, please go to the
WHO website


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