1. About half of mental disorders begin before the age of 14. Around 20% of the world’s children and adolescents are estimated to have mental disorders or problems, with similar types of disorders being reported across cultures. Yet, regions of the world with the highest percentage of population under the age of 19 have the poorest level of mental health resources. Most lowand middle-income countries have only one child psychiatrist for every 1 to 4 million people.
2. Depression is characterized by sustained sadness and loss of interest along with psychological, behavioural and physical symptoms. The causes of depression are, however, primarily physiological, not psychological
3. On average about 800 000 people commit suicide every year, 86% of them in low- and middle-income countries. More than half of the people who kill themselves are aged between 15 and 44. The highest suicide rates are found among men in eastern European countries. One of the most prominent and treatable causes of suicide are mental disorders.
4. Speech problems are particularly frequent in families with lower incomes. The reason is the gradual loss of interest of parents of correcting deficiencies own children, because they have to deal with existential problems.
5. Governments, donors and groups representing mental health workers, patients and their families need to work together to increase mental health services, especially in low- and middle-income countries. The financial resources needed are relatively modest: US$ 2 per person per year in low-income countries and US$ 3-4 in lower middle-income countries.