A vast majority of the hundreds of millions of people living with mental, neurological and substance use disorders (MNS) do not have their basic health and social care needs met. The most striking inequity is that concerning the disparities in provision of care and respect for human rights of people living with mental disorders between rich and poor communities within and across countries. Eighty percent of these people live in low- and middle-income countries, but when it comes to mental health ‘all countries are developing’. Global Mental Health is the area of study, research and practice that places a priority on improving mental health for all people worldwide.
Our mission is to address inequities by closing the care gap, and to reduce human rights abuses experienced by people living with mental, neurological and substance use conditions, particularly in low resource settings with a view to contributing to a world where all people living with mental, neurological and substance use disorders can live a life of meaning and dignity.
Our vision is to be a world leading academic institution in Global Mental Health that fosters research, capacity building and engagement in holistic, recovery- and rights-based mental health systems strengthening. We strive for a world where mental health is valued, promoted and protected, mental ill-health and disabilities are prevented, and persons affected by these disorders are able to exercise the full range of human rights and to access high quality, culturally-appropriate health and social care in a timely way to promote recovery, in order to attain the highest possible level of health and participate fully in society and at work, free from stigmatisation and discrimination.
While access to affordable, effective and culturally appropriate health and social care is a problem worldwide, the focus of the Centre’s work is on poorer communities and countries, where health and social systems are greatly under-resourced, and populations particularly underserved. Disparities exist within countries as well as across continents, and solutions in one part of the world can inform improved practice elsewhere. High-, middle- and low-income settings have much to learn from each other.
Our approach is holistic and reflective, looking at fostering 1) world leading inter-disciplinary research spanning from clinical, epidemiological, ethnographic to health services, policy and implementation science research, to better understand the burden and develop, evaluate and scale up promotion, prevention and care for mental disorders; 2) a wide range of capacity building initiatives from postgraduate degrees to multi-country capacity building programmes; and 3) engagement with communities, community leaders, policy makers and global leaders to raise awareness and advocate for greater investment, local leadership and ownership in mental health research, training, policy and practice. Central to our activities is the collaboration with and empowerment of those with lived experience of mental, neurological and substance use conditions.