The Routledge Handbook of International Development, Mental Health and Wellbeing

1st Edition

Laura Davidson

July 2, 2019 Forthcoming
Reference - 464 Pages - 3 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9780367027735 - CAT# K405151

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Despite its enormous impact on individuals, families, communities, and economies, globally mental health has always been a low priority, with mental health budgets rarely protected and often the first to be axed in times of austerity. Yet more than 650 million people worldwide are estimated to meet diagnostic criteria for common mental disorders such as depression and anxiety, with almost three quarters of that burden in low and middle income countries. Nowhere in the world does mental health enjoy parity with physical health. Notwithstanding astonishing medical advancements in treatments for physical illnesses, mental illness continues to have a startlingly high mortality rate. However, despite its widespread neglect, there is now an emerging international imperative to improve global mental health and wellbeing. The UN’s current international development agenda was finalised at the end of 2015, and whilst the seventeen sustainable development goals (SDGs) are much broader in focus than the previous eight millennium development goals (MDGs), the need for worldwide improvement in mental health has finally been recognised. SDG3 seeks to ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages. This Handbook addresses the new UN agenda in the context of mental health and sustainable development, examining the breadth of its implications for national and international policy-makers, decision-makers, researchers and funding agencies. Conceptual, evidence-based and practical arguments and discussions crossing a range of disciplines are presented here from the world’s leading researchers and practitioners in the field of mental health. Together, they explore why a commitment to investing in mental health for the fulfilment of SDG3 ought to be an absolute global priority.

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