The World Mental Health Survey Initiative

The WMH Survey Initiative is a project of the Assessment, Classification, and Epidemiology (ACE) Group at the World Health Organization coordinating the implementation and analysis of general population epidemiologic surveys of mental, substance use, and behavioral disorders in countries in all WHO Regions.

Rationale: The WHO Global Burden of Disease Study estimates that mental and addictive disorders are among the most burdensome in the world and their burden will increase over next decades. However, these estimates and projections are based largely on literature reviews and limited and isolated studies rather than on cross-national epidemiologic surveys. In order to move forward with public health initiatives aimed at addressing the global burden of mental disorders the WMH Survey Initiative carried out rigorously implemented general population surveys that estimate the prevalences of mental disorders, evaluate risk factors for purposes of targeting interventions, study patterns of and barriers to service use, and validate estimates of disease burden world-wide.


Aims: The WMH Survey Initiative aims to obtain accurate cross-national information about the prevalences and correlates of mental, substance, and behavioral disorders. Included in studies of correlates will be analyses of impairments, other adverse social consequences, and patterns of help-seeking.


Collaborators: The WMH Survey Consortium includes nationally or regionally representative surveys in 28 countries, representing all regions of the world, and with a total eventual sample size in excess of 155,000.


For more information visit: http://www.hcp.med.harvard.edu/wmh/index.php