Addressing the social determinants of global mental health in the SDG era

The Academy of Medical Sciences, in collaboration with the InterAcademy Partnership for Health, convened a policy workshop on the social determinants of global mental health in London on 31 October- 1 November 2019. 

Status: Completed

This two day workshop on 31 October- 1 November, chaired by Professor Crick Lund and Professor Sir Graham Thornicroft FMedSci, focused on the social determinants of mental health in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). 

A meeting report was produced and disseminated to UK and global stakeholders. This report outlines the key messages for researchers, policymakers, research funders and civil society organisations.

The report can be downloaded from the downloads tab on the right hand side of this page or by clicking on this image. 


Mental and behavioural problems account for 7.4% of the global burden of disease and are the leading contributor to the economic cost of non-communicable diseases. In LMICs, the cost of mental illness in 2010 was estimated at $870 billion and it is projected to at least double by 2030. As well as biological influences, multiple socio-environmental determinants affect mental health through poorly defined chains of causation.

In 2018, the Academy and the InterAcademy Partnership for Health held a meeting to explore how to strengthen mental health services in LMICs (read about it here). One of the key conclusions was that there is a need to develop a deeper understanding of social determinants and their impact on global mental health. This workshop will consider this issue in the context of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and the WHO’s social determinants framework. The aim of the workshop is to open up new opportunities for intersectoral collaboration and to identify suitable points of intervention to promote mental wellbeing.

Watch our short animation which summarises the discussion and proposed actions to address the social determinants of global mental health: 

Click here to find out more about our other GCRF workshops and read the workshop reports.

This workshop is funded by the Global Challenges Research Fund that aims to support cutting-edge research that addresses the challenges faced by developing countries. Visit our GCRF webpage to read more about the fund. 

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