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March 25, 2010

Can Developing Economies Afford to Ignore Mental Health?

On March 18, 2010, the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health hosted the symposium “Can Developing Economies Afford to Ignore Mental Health?” to explore the burgeoning field of global mental health. Experts in the field discussed progress made in understanding the mental health needs and services of developing economies and the barriers to providing adequate services.

According to the Global Burden of Disease report, common mental illnesses constitute the major cause of dysfunction globally, and specifically in poor countries. Health problems that chronically impair functioning are likely to cause significant social and economic problems, including both reduced social and economic contributions by individuals and an increased need for resources to care for them.

The Bloomberg School’s
Center for Mental Health Initiatives and Applied Mental Health Research Group presented the symposium. The speakers included:

Vikram Patel, MD, PhD                  
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

Shekhar Saxena, MD
World Health Organization

Florence Baingana, MB ChB
Makerere University School of Public Health                

Martin Knapp, PhD
London School of Economics and Political Science



Public Affairs media contact for JHSPH: Tim Parsons at 410-955-7619 or


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