More than 13% of the global burden of disease is due to disorders such as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia and substance abuse. Almost three-quarters of this burden lies in low- and middle-income countries, because of extremely scarce health resources and investment. Many countries allocate less than 1% of the health budget to mental health. Poor or non-existent access to evidence-based care also leads to the need for long-term care and increased costs of care.
The economic burden is also significant. The global cost of lost productivity due to depression and anxiety disorders is an estimated US$1.15 trillion a year. Around 4.7 billion days of productivity are lost.
There is good evidence that these conditions are treatable. But the estimates of people in sub-Saharan Africa receiving treatment are jarring. Only 15% of South Africans with mental health conditions receive treatment. In Ghana and Ethiopia the estimates are less than 10%.