Authors: KS Jacob, Vikram Patel
Mental disorders are common in all countries, affect every community and age group, contribute substantially to the overall burden of disease, and have major economic and social consequences and effects on human rights. However, the greatest inequities are cross-national: 80% of people affected by mental disorders live in low-income and middle-income countries, which benefit from scarcely 10% of global mental health resources. Global mental health initiatives attempt to improve the availability of, access to, and quality of services for people with mental disorders worldwide. Diagnostic categories and a classification of mental disorders, which are essential to achieve objectives of global mental health, are needed for a range of stakeholders: for health-care practitioners to make treatment decisions and implement clinical guidelines; for policy makers to make decisions about allocation of resources; and for patients and their families to gain an understanding of their disorders. But can contemporary psychiatric classifications meet these needs?
Jacob KS and V Patel. 2014. Classification of mental disorders: a global mental health perspective. Lancet. 383(9926): 1433-1435.