Roberts2022 - Reconceptialising the treatment gap for common mental disorders, a fork in the road for global mental health?

  • Type:#article
  • Date read: 2022-08-25
  • Subject: (in brackets, can also bracket keywords in text)
  • Bibtex: @roberts2022
  • Bibliography: Roberts, T., Esponda, G. M., Torre, C., Pillai, P., Cohen, A., & Burgess, R. A. (2022). Reconceptualising the treatment gap for common mental disorders: A fork in the road for global mental health? The British Journal of Psychiatry, 221(3), 553–557.

Example citation

Lower demand for psychological treatments, due to non-medical interpretations of symptoms and structural issues in underserved areas, should not be ignored [@roberts2022]

Key takeaways

  • They argue that the treatment gap often reflects lack of demand
    • Why? Non-medical interpretations of common mental disorders like depression and anxiety
  • Most common reason for not seeking treatment: lack of perceived need for treatment.
  • Qualitative studies in rural India, rural Mexico, refugee settlement in Uganda:
    • Depression and anxiety arising from primary concerns of poverty and other stressors. Symptoms will subside if the stressors are removed.

…in the absence of demand, increasing the supply of mental health services does not reduce the treatment gap…

Our findings indicate that across multiple low-resource settings… …people fail to seek mental health services–and disengage from services–because people interpret their psychological and emotional states as reactions to social and economic problems, not as health conditions that can be addressed by medical services.

Treating people and sending them back to the same conditions that made them sick is a Sisyphean task