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Data InsightsMany countries lack regular data on mental health
July 11, 2024Saloni Dattani and Veronika Samborska

Many countries lack regular data on mental health

This map, titled "Countries that have reported recent data on mental health, 2020," illustrates the reporting status of countries that have compiled and reported systematic data on mental health in the past two years. The map uses different colors to indicate the type of reporting.
The data source is the WHO Mental Health Atlas 2020 via UNICEF (2023). The map shows a diverse reporting landscape, with many countries in North America, Europe, and parts of Asia and Australia providing specific reports for public and private sectors. In contrast, several countries in Africa and parts of Asia and South America have either no mental health data or did not respond to the WHO survey.

Data on mental health is neglected or unavailable in many countries, especially in Africa and Asia.

The map shows which countries have reported recent data on mental health in the population and how they have reported them. This is based on surveys conducted for the World Health Organization’s Mental Health Atlas (2023).

Several countries have not compiled mental health data in recent years, as shown in red.

Other countries have compiled recent data, but only for general statistical purposes — without using it in specific reports to inform policy, planning, or management purposes. These countries are shown in light green.

Without regular data, it’s difficult to track whether progress is being made or if new problems are emerging and guide resources to address mental health issues.

This means many people’s difficulties with mental health can go unnoticed and unaddressed.

Read more on how researchers study the prevalence of mental illnesses