The Most Neglected Disease in Global Health | 

Flickr, by Dierk Schaefer

Neon Brain

Is it Kala-azar black fever? Elephantiasis? African sleeping sickness? Guinea worm?

How about mental illness?

“Mental health is the Rodney Dangerfield of international health,” says Paul Bolton, an expert in evaluating treatments at Johns Hopkins University, paraphrasing the comedian’s signature line: “It gets no respect.”

But it should, Bolton says, if our goal is to improve lives rather than simply cure or prevent disease.

Hundreds of millions of people in the developing world suffer from emotional, neurological or behavioral disorders, according to the World Health Organization.

Okay, but we also have loads of people in poor countries dying from AIDS, malaria and TB — to name just a few — and you want to talk about depression? Continue reading