May is Mental Health Awareness Month in the United States. CartoVista is contributing to the efforts of raising awareness and education on the matter by sharing resources from the World Health Organization. The WHO tracks this important issue every year and makes available a variety of information to learn more about the situation in many countries around the world. CartoVista proposes to explore this data through three main topics.

Health laws and policies

The WHO lists countries that have adopted specific legislation to address mental health issues, or that have put in place a specific health policy to address these concerns.

The two themes “Stand-alone law for mental health” and “Stand-alone policy or plan for mental health” allow you to explore these questions. While several countries already had a law for mental health protection before the 1980s (19 countries, including Madagascar, Uruguay, and Algeria for example), most laws were adopted in the 2010s (52 countries). As for health policies, the vast majority were put in place in the 2010s (112 countries).

Human resources

The number of health workers dedicated to mental health is also important to understand the efforts made by each country. The number of psychiatrists per population is an indicator of this. It is noticeable that this figure varies greatly across the globe, the best performer being Norway with 48 psychiatrists per 100,000 population.

Suicide rate

Finally, the suicide rate is a way to approach the state of mental health of a population. Notably, comparing the suicide rate for women and men allows us to understand that is a predominantly male phenomenon.

Sources

World Health Organization

Global Health Observatory