Mental health funding and the SDGs: what now and who pays

Mental health funding and the SDGs: what now and who pays

In 2015 the world took a huge step forward by including mental health in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which set the global agenda for the next three decades. Now that they have been agreed, the world is looking to how the SDGs will be funded and how progress towards achieving them will be measured. Mental health is severely underfunded. Despite the huge burden it places on global health, it receives a fraction of the funding of other diseases.

Reporting of mental health spending by country governments and donors is inconsistent, and tracking of spending all but non-existent (as it is often
rolled into general health budgets).

This report provides an overview of who is currently funding mental health and who isn’t, but could be. It is a synthesis of research previously conducted in this field and analyses both existing and new funders. It highlights how little information there is on what donors are spending on mental health globally, what types of activities are funded and why funding mental health delivers a variety of benefits, and it suggests how to frame the issue to encourage more investment.

  1. How good is this research?

    Assessing the quality of research can be a tricky business. This blog from our editor offers some tools and tips.