Grand Challenges Canada’s Global Mental Health program supports bold ideas to improve treatments and expand access to care for mental disorders, through transformational, affordable and cost-effective innovations that have the potential to be sustainable at scale.
Mental disorders contribute to 14% of the global burden of disease worldwide; 75% of this burden occurs in low- and middle-income countries, where scarce resources and a shortage of trained professionals mean individuals living with mental disorders have limited access to evidence-based treatments.
Even in contexts where treatment is available, widespread stigmatization faced by those living with mental illness means that they are often unwilling or unable to access this care.
Grand Challenges Canada supports bold ideas to improve treatments and expand the access to care for people living with mental disorders, by focusing on six areas of focus. Grand Challenges Canada’s Global Mental Health Program goals are aligned with the Mental Health Action Plan global targets for 2020 and the United Nation’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
Progress Against the Challenge
Innovations in the Global Mental Health portfolio have contributed to tens of thousands of people receiving mental health care. The innovations funded at transition-to-scale alone have the potential to improve an additional 1.5 million lives by 2030. A number of innovations have resulted in changes to essential medicines lists, health worker training curricula and other policy influences that are removing structural barriers to mental health care, meaning the impact will be even more widespread. Finally, through several transition-to-scale investments, we have demonstrated that local governments are willing to invest in evidence-based mental health innovations that can be implemented at scale, which strengthens our model of investment going forward.
Grand Challenges Canada is proud to be helping to build the capacity of current and future leaders in global mental health and increasing the global visibility of mental health challenges.
Mental Health Innovation Network
Grand Challenges Canada supports the Mental Health Innovation Network. The Network aims to facilitate the development and uptake of eﬀective mental health innovations by enabling learning, enhancing linkages, disseminating knowledge and leveraging resources.
The Network’s activities are supported by a team of researchers and policy-makers from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine’s Centre for Global Mental Health and the World Health Organization’s Department for Mental Health and Substance Abuse.