Community mental health: a brief, global perspective

Jibril Abdulmalik, Graham Thornicroft

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
256 Downloads (Pure)


There is increasing realization of the magnitude of the disease burden attributable to mental, neurological and substance use disorders globally. This impact is disproportionately distributed, with slightly more than two thirds of this burden being situated within low and middle income countries. Furthermore, in both developed and developing countries, a significant treatment gap exists, but is greater in developing countries. Disparities in available financial and human resources for the provision of mental health services also exist, both across and within countries and regions of the world. Despite this evidence, and the calls for urgent reform of mental health services globally, several key barriers continue to hinder progress. These include reduced access to services, inequalities in resource distribution, and stigma and discrimination. A ‘balanced model of care’ that takes into cognizance, the available resources and context; advances a task sharing approach and recommends the increased utilization of community mental health services, is a pragmatic approach that can help to surmount these barriers. Additional drivers of change, that can enhance the implementation of this approach are also presented and discussed.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNeurology, Psychiatry and Brain Research
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 6 May 2016


  • Community mental health
  • Task sharing
  • Treatment gap


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