On SAGE Insight: Impact of Globalization on Mental Health in Low- and Middle-income Countries

From Psychology and Developing Societies

Given the rapid advances in all kinds of technologies, communication technology in particular, globalization is a challenge to health and wellbeing worldwide. It impacts social and other determinants of health in ways that are detrimental to physical and mental health. Increasingly, mental health is being recognized as a global health issue and it now occupies a large space within the world disease pattern (Okasha, 2005; WHO, 2008).

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), mental disorders contribute to about 13 per cent of the global burden of disease (GBD). Almost three-quarters of this burden occurs in the low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Such countries have limited financial resources because of which their expenditure on mental health care is low despite the fact that incidence of mental disorders in these countries is as high as in other countries. Mental health is a significant mediating factor in determining children’s readiness for school learning, employability of people, their health behaviour and chronic disease outcomes. It also has long range implications for social cohesion, productivity and economic development (WHO, 2005).

The article presents a critical review of core social and psychological determinants of mental health from a life-course perspective, which operates at micro (individual) and macro (societal–structural) levels in the context of globalization, using the World Health Organization– Commission on Social Determinants of Health conceptual framework.

Abstract

The paper presents a critical review of core social and psychological determinants of mental health from a life-course perspective which operate at micro (individual) and macro (societal–structural) levels in the context of globalisation using the World Health Organization– Commission on Social Determinants of Health conceptual framework. It analyses how globalisation-induced changes implicate social and psychological variables that impact upon inequities in mental health and well-being. Mental health outcomes relating to four core determinants— deepening poverty and inequalities, migrations, rapid and uncontrollable socio-cultural value change and identity diffusion—are focused on. The overall evidence shows that these core determinants have pernicious effects on mental health and well-being often leading to common mental disorders (CMDs). Mental health protection and promotion efforts necessitate multisectoral, holistic, culturally responsible actions that equip people and communities to cope better with stressors created by the globalised world.

 

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Article details
Impact of Globalization on Mental Health in Low- and Middleincome Countries
Sagar Sharma
Psychology and Developing Societies 28(2) 251–279
DOI: 10.1177/0971333616657176

 

 

 

     
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