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Symposium: Mental Health in Developing Countries

Location: Munich, Germany

Date: 12.11.2011


For a long time "Mental Health" has been the Cinderella of health care, whether in OECD countries or in developing countries. Attempts to introduce mental health on the agenda for global public health are progressing only slowly.

Over half a billion of the world’s population are suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders or from alcohol or drug dependence, the vast majority of them in developing countries. Most of them receive no appropriate treatment - many are stigmatized with prejudice and social exclusion. This leads to serious psychological, physical, social, and economic damage.

At least 20% - 30% of patients in developing countries who visit primary care facilities suffer from one or more neuropsychiatric disorders. Particularly noteworthy are chronic illnesses such as: depression, substance dependence, schizophrenia, epilepsy and dementia.

Mental health services should not be a privilege in rich countries - mental health is of enormous importance in low income countries both for the individual and for the development of entire regions.

This symposium intends to give an overview of the importance of mental health for developing countries. Reports from Africa and Asia illustrated various aspects of the problem.

Organized by:
Dr. Wolfgang Krahl, i.nez - International Network for Cooperation in Mental Health
Prof. Matthias Siebeck, Center for International Health
Prof. Norbert Müller, Global Mental HealthLMU


Detailed Program (PDF 28,33 KB)