By Inka Weissbecker
April 18, 2016
Francis spent two years with his foot tied to a wooden log in a shed. He suffered from psychosis but his family was unable to help him because they had no knowledge of mental illness and his small village in Ghana did not have treatment available. After nurses in his village attended a training in mental health, he received medication, recovered and went back to being a school teacher, a profession that he loved.
Most people are not this lucky. Globally nine out of ten people living with mental disorders do not receive basic treatment. This impacts not only individuals, but families, communities, and economies. INGOs such as International Medical Corps, where I serve as a global mental health and psychosocial advisor overseeing programs in over 20 countries, are all too familiar with the urgent need to address mental illness, especially in lower income and crisis affected countries.