Why we need to solve mental health (globally)

Why we need to solve mental health (globally)


Mental ill health is one of the world’s greatest challenges — and at the Thrive Foundation, we believe we can solve it.

Before we put a man on the Moon or ran the four-minute mile, humankind deemed these goals impossible. Once they had been proven possible, expectation shifted and progress was exponential. The Thrive Foundation believes we can do the same for solving global mental health by demonstrating that it is possible, starting in a self-governing island nation.

Mental illness is recognised as a leading cause of global distress, disability and death. The World Health Organisation predicts that mental health problems will be the third biggest cause of disability and death by 2020. Economic estimates of lost productivity are in the trillions every year. Hundreds of thousands of lives are lost every year to suicide.

The World Health Organization has described the Mental Health Gap – between the needs of the world’s population and the delivery of care. While 14% of the global burden of disease is attributed to these disorders, most of the people affected – 75% in many low-income countries – do not have access to the treatment they need.

Supply of mental health services will never meet growing demand unless there is a radical rethink of the entire mental health and wellbeing ecosystem, and the societies in which these systems occur.

Existing funding processes are inefficient at creating large breakthroughs. By concentrating global intention on one small community, and bringing together world disruptors, innovators and experts, we will accelerate discoveries to eradicate mental illness and addictive disorders.

Alone, we are at sea. Together, we plan to solve mental health in one nation as a blueprint for the world.

No government can deliver this vision without both community and business support, and reimagining of the major systems: health and social care, education, justice, economics, energy, food and the environment. These systems are all interlinked with each other and with the health of their populations. Mental health is the barometer of these systems.

The Thrive Foundation’s moonshot goal is simple and audacious: it aims to solve mental health in a test-bed nation state by 2020, to provide a blueprint for the world.


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