The Milken Institute’s inaugural Public Health Summit co-hosted with the George Washington University (GWU) in March, brought together more than 600 decision-makers to discuss topics ranging from cancer research to antibiotic resistant bacteria to mental health. FasterCures executive director Margaret Anderson moderated the session, “Mental Health: A Global Challenge We Can’t Ignore.”
Pamela Collins, M.D., MPH, director of the Office for Research on Disparities and Global Mental Health at the National Institute of Mental Health, said funding for mental health research has increased, but is still not enough to address needs. “When you look around the world, there’s only on average 9 providers for every 100,000 people...there’s a huge need in terms of human resources,” said Dr. Collins. “There are shortages in the U.S. as well.”
“It wasn’t too long ago in our history that many believed children did not experience significant mental health problems and illness,” said Olga Acosta Price, Ph.D., associate professor for prevention and community health at GWU. She said 75 to 90 percent of children with mental health disorders fail to receive appropriate treatment or support.
Panelists also discussed how mental health conditions often develop among patients with HIV, cardiovascular disease and diabetes, and that mental health prevalence and access to treatment vary greatly along socioeconomic status, education, race and many other factors. Other panelists included Paolo del Vecchio, MSW, director, Center for Mental Health Services at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA); and Charles Ingoglia, MSW, senior vice president at the National Council for Behavioral Health. To view a video of the panel, click here.