Global child and adolescent mental health: a culturally informed focus

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The Global Burden of Disease (GBD) was first published in 1996 by Murray and Lopez.1,2 One of its key findings was that mental disorders were among the major causes of disability in high-income countries and low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The investigators of the GBD study estimated thatdepression alone caused more disability than either nutritional problems or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which were then the prime foci of US health-related international programs.1 At present, the World Health Organization (WHO) rates depression as the single greatest cause of disability worldwide, affecting at least 350 million people.1 The 2010 GBD study showed that mental disorders account for 7.4% of the world’s burden of healthconditions in terms of disability-adjusted life years and nearly a quarter of all years lived with disability, more than cardiovascular diseases orcancer.3 The global economic costs of mental disorders were estimated at $2.5 trillion in 2010 and are projected to reach $6 trillion by 2030.3 Based on the above-mentioned findings, the WHO Action Plan recognized mental health as a global priority in May 2013. As a result of this pledged action, mental health is now discussed at the highest level policy forums devoted to global health and development. On the scientific side, after more


Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America