Nick’s entire article about the importance of not just the Movember movement, but a year-round refocus on mental health issues for men is spot on, but the numbers he quotes are what I want to focus on, because the math is truly astounding when you start to break it down.
“In Europe, there are just 50 mental health staff for every 100,000 population. And, in the US, the number is only 28 mental health staff for every 100,000.
This figure is even more concerning at a global level. The WHO states that there’s an average of 9 mental health staff for every 100,000 and, of the global health workforce, only 1% is focused on mental health.”
Let’s start with the UK. Now, we have some conflicting numbers on the percentage of people dealing with mental health issues at any given time. We know it can be as high as one in 4 over an entire lifetime, but let’s be incredibly generous and say at any given time, maybe one in twenty, or 5% of the population needs mental health care.
That means that for that 100,000 population level, that’s 5,000 people needing care. There are 50 providers. To match even that very-likely understated level of need, they each need to be treating 100 people at a time.
In the US, that’s 28 providers for 5,000 patients, almost 179 patients at a time, and world-wide we’d be looking at 9 providers serving 556 patients at a time.
We know the actual percentage is likely higher than 5% too.
This will not do. We cannot just continue to do what we’ve been doing. Far, far too many people are unable to get care. There are not nearly enough resources to go around, and while people, men and women, wait for help, we are losing them.
Nick points out some things that are being worked on, but it’s clear that more is needed, especially on early intervention. More research, more resources, more everything.