Explained: Mental health's catastrophic cash problem

Explained: Mental health's catastrophic cash problem

The theme for this year's World Mental Health Day is inequality. Look no further than the flow of money into the sector.

Sanity by Tanmoy

In a reader survey a couple of months ago, I'd asked you what new formats or types of stories you'd like me to work on. One of your suggestions was data- and graphics-led pieces that would simplify critical themes around mental health.

Today I am attempting just that, focusing on a big, hairy subject that doesn't get nearly enough attention outside of nerdy circles: the catastrophic gap in funding for mental health in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). I read through some of the most important research in this area and distilled the key insights in four hand-drawn charts, so you don't have to.

Obviously, the economics of global mental health funding is a huge area. For starters, I looked at the disastrous inequities plaguing international development assistance for mental health, and what needs to happen to fix this problem. I also mined data that exposes the neglect suffered by 40% of the world's population: children and adolescents.