Vikram Patel is working to bring better mental health care to low-resource communities, He accomplishes this by teaching ordinary people to deliver basic psychiatric services.
There are nearly 450 million people who are affected by mental illness worldwide. In wealthy nations, only half of those in need receive appropriate care, but in developing countries, close to 90% go untreated due to the seriously short supply of psychiatrists. Vikram Patel outlines a highly promising approach — by empowering ordinary people to care for others, and training members of communities to give mental health interventions.
If you should speak to anyone affected by a mental illness, the chances are that you will hear stories of hidden suffering, shame, and discrimination in nearly every sector of their lives … We need to deliver [mental] health care using whoever is available and affordable in our local communities.