In 2010, over 700 million people were identified as living with a mental disorder. According to Vikram Patel in The New England Journal of Medicine, “The 2010 Global Burden of Disease Study showed that mental disorders account for 7.4% of the world’s burden of health conditions…more than cardiovascular diseases or cancer.” The global burden of mental disorders has been associated with skyrocketing suicide rates, pressing economic circumstances, and increased costs for mental health care. Patel writes that “the global economic costs of mental disorders were estimated at $2.5 trillion in 2010 and are projected to reach $6.0 trillion by 2030,” a staggering sum. Less affluent countries have limited access to pharmacologic solutions, and affected individuals consequently suffer from violations of their human rights. The financial provision for mental health care is disproportionate to the prevalence of mental disorders in all countries, a situation that requires desperate improvement.
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