The purpose of the conference was to locate and promote the role of health economics in mental health policy in low and middle income countries. Health economists have a growing voice in health policy development. But just as it is only recently that mental health policy specifically has been highlighted on the global stage, with the WHO’s 2001 World Health Report, so too has the economics of mental health only comparatively recently started to claim attention on the global policy stage.
The conference brought together approximately 100 economists, health professionals and policy makers from a great many countries. The participants heard and discussed presentations from prominent practitioners in the field of mental health economics and policy in a global context. Highlights from those presentations and discussions are set out in the remainder of this briefing. Together, they amount to a primer in mental health economics and policy in low and middle income countries.