Today, The Lancet announced the creation of Countdown Global Mental Health, a monitoring and accountability mechanism to reverse the neglect of this pressing health concern.

United for Global Mental Health (UnitedGMH) is one of the Countdown’s primary partners, together with Global Mental Health at Harvard, the World Health Organization, Global Mental Health Peer Network and The Lancet.

The Countdown builds on last year’s Lancet Commission on Global Mental Health and Sustainable Development, which United for Global Mental Health co-ordinated the launch and roll-out of.

Drawing on the Commission’s recommendations, the Countdown will consider mental health determinants (eg, demographic, economic), mental health system and service components (eg, financing, workforce capacity), and mental health outcomes and risk protection (eg, social and financial risk protection).

It will also adhere to the Commission’s dimensional approach to mental health through emphasising promotion, prevention and the mental health of all people, not just those with mental disorders.

Aligning with the World Health Organization’s prioritisation of universal health coverage, the Countdown will also champion accessible and high-quality mental health treatment as core to achieving health for all. Specifically, the Countdown will go beyond crude measures like the suicide rate, which is the only mental health specific indicator included in the Sustainable Development Goals.

Ultimately, the Countdown’s work will lead to the development of an index allowing for comparisons between countries and across time.

Going forward, we will collaborate with other partners and with countries to collect and validate data, and disseminate findings. Countdown Global Mental Health will publish biennial reports in The Lancet that track national, regional, and global progress from 2020 through 2030.

To read The Lancet commentary announcing Countdown Global Mental Health, click here.