A decade on from the 2007 Lancet Series on global mental health, which sought to transform the way policy makers thought about global health, The Lancet Commission on Global Mental Health launched in 2018 aimed to seize the opportunity offered by the Sustainable Development Goals to consider future directions for global mental health. The Commission proposed that the global mental agenda should be expanded from a focus on reducing the treatment gap to improving the mental health of whole populations and reducing the global burden of mental disorders by addressing gaps in prevention and quality of care. The Commission outlined a blueprint for action to promote mental wellbeing, prevent mental health problems, and enable recovery from mental disorders.
As a response to this, the first-ever independent monitoring and accountability mechanism for global mental health, Countdown Global Mental Health, has been launched at Bill and Melinda Gates’ Goalkeepers event in New York today.
What does the Countdown aim to achieve?
The Countdown will run from 2019 to 2030 and deliver crucial, up to date mental health data within the Sustainable Development Goals framework, set out at Goalkeepers. It is designed to inform government and philanthropic investment decisions and create accountability for mental health commitments that are made globally. This system will be open-access, available for use by policymakers and researchers around the world. Because understanding the scale of the problem will help us find and invest in the solutions.
Mental health is the product of far more than just our biology, so the Countdown will also track non-health factors that impact mental health, such as demographic and environmental factors. As well as monitoring non-health outcomes for people with mental health conditions, tracking their social and economic wellbeing, looking at areas such as ‘financial protection’.