Mental health issues impose an enormous disease burden on societies across the world. Depression alone affects 350 million people globally and is the leading cause of disability worldwide. Despite its enormous social burden, mental disorders continue to be driven into the shadows by stigma, prejudice and fear. The issue is becoming ever more urgent in light of the forced migration and sustained conflict we are seeing in many countries of the world.
A two-day series of events, co-hosted by the World Bank and the World Health Organization during the World Bank-International Monetary Fund Spring Meetings, aimed to move mental health from the margins to the mainstream of the global development agenda. The events to engage finance ministers, multilateral and bilateral organizations, the business community, technology innovators, and civil society emphasized the urgent investments needed in mental health services, and the expected returns in terms of health, social and economic benefits.