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We exist to help accelerate political and financial support for mental health around the world. With an average of just 2% of government health budgets across the world being allocated to mental health and just 1% of international aid for health being spent on mental health, the situation requires immediate and decisive change. We work with partners to advocate for greater financing for mental health at national and global levels and for that financing to be directed to quality, rights-based services and support.

We believe that, ultimately, only adequate, efficient and sustainable public mental health finance invested primarily at the community level will allow everyone’s mental health rights to be realised. We work with national advocates and campaigners, and national governments to increase and improve government finance for mental health.

With the level of public finance for mental health being so low in many countries, international finance is required to initially fill financing gaps but also provide the catalyst for adequate, efficient and sustainable public mental health finance. We work with international donors to increase funding, to catalyse further mental health finance, integrate mental health into existing programs and emergency response plans, and to strengthen coordination amongst donors.  

Moreover, in some cases philanthropic financing is needed and we work to identify and promote investment in mental health by philanthropic donors.

Our work includes

Finance Working Group

The Global Mental Health Action Network Financing Working Group is made up of over 50 members representing a wide range of organisations in many countries. It aims to highlight the importance of mental health investment, influencing decision makers, sharing information, and supporting others to advocate for improved finance for mental health. It provides resources for others, such as its briefing for the 2021 Spring Meetings, and guide to urging finance ministries to invest in mental health. Anyone can join the group.

Global Fund Advocacy

We are calling for The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria to allocate funding and resources to strengthen the integration of mental health into its response to HIV and TB, ensuring that everyone has access to equitable care.


Return on the Individual

Our Return on the Individual report turns the traditional approach to return on investment on its head, making the wider social and business case for investing in mental health; and for putting people at the heart of investment. It was written with a wide range of partners including Speak Your Mind campaigners who are using the report to advocate for greater investment in different countries around the world. 


Increasing mental health finance in Liberia

Throughout 2020 and 2021 UnitedGMH has been working with Lions Head Global Partners, The Carter Center and the Government of Liberia to increase sustainable finance for mental health. The project team has completed a diagnostic of the Liberian mental health finance situation and developed an investment case with a phased increase of domestic and international finance to fully fund the national mental health policy with a return on investment of nearly $170m by 2030. The report is set to be launched in early summer 2021.

(Photo: The Carter Center)

Designing a new approach for mental health philanthropic

We believe that a new and rapidly growing generation of philanthropists could help transform the way mental health is funded in the future, changing the lives of millions of people across the world. Working with Natasha Mueller Impact and Arabella Advisors, UnitedGMH is leading the thinking on how philanthropic finance can have a great impact on global mental health. The findings of a research process involving next generation philanthropists from across the world will be launched in May 2021.

The World Bank has not historically prioritised mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS). There is no department for mental health, and while the institution has invested in mental health projects, MHPSS has not been a prominent or substantially funded part of its portfolio. 

But as it negotiates the next International Development Association (IDA) replenishment – a key financing mechanism for some of the world’s poorest countries – the World Bank Group has a unique opportunity to shape the future IDA strategy and policy towards mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) and to help catalyse greater investment from public and private sources. 

Funder Briefings and Bilateral Donor Profiles

We aim to make information around global mental health funding transparent and available. We do this in order to help as many individuals and organisations as possible to access these resources and encourage funders to increase the amount of investment in mental health around the world.

We have a wide range of reports on mental health funders - from bilateral governments to international organisations, trusts and foundations. Our donor profiles map out bilateral donors to global mental health. We update these regularly and disseminate them through our networks.