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Photo by Robin Hammond/Panos

Some countries have only one psychiatrist per million people.

No medications. No counselling. Some people with mental illness are even kept in chains. 

Over 270,000,000 people in developing countries have no mental health care. 

Goals of Mind Aid

1/ Make more people aware of the more than 270 million people in developing countries with no mental health services.  READ MORE >

 

2/ Inspire more people to take up the charge and spearhead ways to help the over 270 million people, such as fundraising, blogging, and creating more organizations and conversations about the issue. We need more leaders taking action on the issue.  READ MORE >

 

Of all the money spent on mental health globally,

90-95% goes to countries with only 5% of the population.

 
Vikram Patel was in TIME’s 100 most influential people list in 2015. Watch his TED talk called “Mental Health for All by Involving All”.
 

While receiving treatment from a native doctor, a patient is chained to a tree in the courtyard in Niger Delta, Nigeria. Patients are not given shelter: They say they are only fed once a day.  October 2012 Photo by Robin Hammond/Panos

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1 / People are suffering needlessly.

The WHO estimates that there are 450 million people with mental health conditions in the world. Approximately 80% of them (or 360 million) live in developing countries, where as many as 75%-85% don't receive any mental health care. That's at least 270 million or as many as 306 million people who are suffering needlessly.

 

Some countries have only one psychiatrist per million people. They have no medications. No counselling. No support groups. Some people with mental illness are even kept in chains. Tied to a tree or a bed or a log. Some are put in cages with hyenas and end up injured or killed. Not only do people have to suffer the horrible conditions of mental illness alone, they have these other assaults they have to suffer as well.

 

Fortunately there are organizations that are trying to help. A model they use is to go into a community and teach some of the members how to administer their own basic mental health care to those who need it. It is low-cost, proven effective and scalable. BasicNeeds, a non-profit in England, uses this model. They are the largest international NGO working in this field. The WHO uses a similar model called the Mental Health Gap Action Programme (mhGAP), launched in 2008.

Vikram Patel is one of the world's leaders in global mental health. Watch his TED talk for more information, or read his Discover Magazine article.   <BACK TO GOALS

 

 

2 / Inspire positive change.

 

It's never been easier to help other people than it is today. You can have a blog or website up for free in minutes. You can have a social media or YouTube channel up for free in minutes. You can have a donation-based crowdfunding site up for free in minutes. You have a voice.

 

Rick Hansen, the Canadian who rode his wheelchair around the world, said that if you want to affect change in the world, attach to a cause larger than yourself and work towards that. Martin Seligman, the founder of positive psychology, said that long-term life satisfaction is found through helping others.

Millions of people are suffering. You can help some of them with a simple donation. If you want to take it a step further, try a simple fundraiser. We need more people to use their voice to start conversations about mental health in developing countries. Yes, in developed countries, mental health isn't where it should be. But compared to developing countries we have an abundance of resources. We have hospitals, doctors, social workers, medications, programs, funding, and yes, we are starting to talk about it more. Many countries have none of this.

We need more money going towards these people, more conversations about them, more organizations helping them. You have a voice. You shouldn't be afraid to use it. You have it for a reason. Why not put it to good use?  <BACK TO GOALS

 
Watch Martin Seligman's TED Talk to find out how helping others yields long-term life satisfaction.

The look of terror on this man's face captures the extreme despair of those caught in Africa's makeshift mental health "care" institutions.  Photo by Robin Hammond/Panos

Imagine a world without mental illness.

What would it take?

You can help.

Donate to BasicNeeds, the largest international NGO working in global mental health, or fundraise for them. The model BasicNeeds uses is to teach members of communities in developing countries how to administer their own basic mental health care. It is low cost, proven effective and scalable. In 2017, BasicNeeds was chosen by Riot Games, creator of the highly popular “League of Legends” video game, to receive a donation of US$1.175 million.

$14/month = cost of helping one person through BasicNeeds

686,394 people have received care from BasicNeeds since 2000

What your money provides

You can set up support groups for them. You can give them counselling sessions with a therapist, or give someone proper medication. You can unchain someone from a tree or a bed, allowing them to go to work, be productive and contribute to their community. You can make a difference.

 
 
BetterHelp.com
Convenient, affordable, private online counseling. Anytime, anywhere.

Resources

BasicNeeds.org
Largest international NGO working in global mental health
news.com.au
Australian journalism covering the situation in Indonesia
Robin Hammond   CONDEMNED
Book/photo project on mental health
in African countries in crisis
DISCOVER Magazine

A Global State of Mind

Mental illness knows no borders.

The Guardian.com
Independent UK journalism covering the situation in Indonesia
PBS NewsHour
US journalism covering the situation in Africa
Vikram Patel TEDx Talk
"Why don't we care?"

Contact

  • MindAid on Facebook
  • MindAid on YouTube
 

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