Mental Health in Nepal


An estimated 450 million people worldwide have a mental disorder. Mental illness (mental, neurological and substance abuse disorders) account for 13% of the global burden of disease, and this figure will rise to nearly 15% by 2030. Depression alone is likely to be the second highest contributor to the global burden of disease by the date. Mental illness are also associated with more than 90% of the one million suicides that occur annually.

Present Situation

(Improving Health System & Services for Mental Health, WHO 2009)

  • Only 2% of the national health budget is dedicated to mental health;
  • 31% of the countries have no specified mental health budget;
  • Promote the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) to ensure the rights and inclusion of people with mental and psychological disabilities;
  • About 76-86% of the people with mental illness do not receive treatment in developing countries.

Services Available

(Fact Sheet: Mental Health, Human Rights and Legislation 2015: WHO Framework)

In Nepal, very few studies have been conducted on mental health among the general population and Nepal is not an exception to the global situation in mental health. A recent study has shown suicide as the first leading cause of death among women of reproductive age in Nepal. Mental health resources are scarce with no formal mental health care in rural areas where more than 85% of the total population resides. It has been a neglected and overlooked issue for a long time. Numerous non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are providing mental services but only for specific popultaion groups.