It is estimated that more than 450 million people in the world are affected by what may be known as disorders of the mind, showing as emotional or mental distress. These conditions are usually understood in terms of psychological, psychiatric or neurological theories, but these do not fully include the life issues that people experience as a result.
In 2006, the Global Disease Control Priorities Project (DCPP) published its latest worldwide review of health burden imposed by different conditions (www.dcp2.org). Its conclusion - “there is no health without mental health”. For the first time, mental conditions were included in the review and dominated the overall burden of non-fatal disabling conditions. They account for more then 37% of years of lost life due to disability in people aged 15 and over.
Recent work by the World Health Organization (www.who.int) also confirmed that depression is the most important risk factor for suicide. It claims around 850 million lives each year and is among the top three causes of death in young people aged 15 to 35 years.