The shortfalls of mental health compartment models: A call to improve mental health investment cases in developing countries

Document Type



Brain and Mind Institute; Internal Medicine (East Africa); Population Health (East Africa)


Objectives: There are irregularities in investment cases generated by the Mental Health Compartment Model. We discuss these irregularities and highlight the costing techniques that may be introduced to improve mental health investment cases.

Methods: This analysis uses data from the World Bank, the World Health Organization Mental Health Compartment Model, the United Nations Development Program, the Kenya Ministry of Health, and Statistics from the Kenyan National Commission of Human Rights.

Results: We demonstrate that the Mental Health Compartment Model produces irrelevant outcomes that are not helpful for clinical settings. The model inflated the productivity gains generated from mental health investment. In some cases, the model underestimated the economic costs of mental health. Such limitation renders the investment cases poor in providing valuable intervention points from the perspectives of both the users and the providers.

Conclusions: There is a need for further calibration and validation of the investment case outcomes. The current estimated results cannot be used to guide service provision, research, and mental health programming comprehensively.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Value in Health Regional Issues