Funding to Global Mental Health Initiatives Now $200m Annually

Rob Wipond

The amount of funding going into development assistance for “global mental health” initiatives around the world from governments, foundations and other donors has tripled since 2007, rising to $196.62 million US in 2013, according to a study in PLoS Medicine.

An international team of researchers used data gathered in the Creditor Reporting System of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Development Assistance Committee, which includes such donors as national governments, the United Nations, World Bank, Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The numbers did not include aid for mental health from many private nongovernmental organizations.

Between 2007 and 2013, the authors found, the rate of mental health-related assistance sent to more impoverished countries ranged between 0.41% and 0.89% of the total development assistance for health initiatives reported by the same donors.

Gilbert, Barnabas J., Vikram Patel, Paul E. Farmer, and Chunling Lu. “Assessing Development Assistance for Mental Health in Developing Countries: 2007–2013.” PLoS Med 12, no. 6 (June 2, 2015): e1001834. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001834. (Full text)