Journal Kicks Off Series on Mental Health in Disadvantaged Areas

The academic journal PloS Medicine is set to launch the first of six issues in a series that will explore the needs of those with mental health concerns, as well as those with careers in the mental health disciplines, in areas with little or no relevant resources. The series has been created in response to a growing need to address the problems experienced in such areas, as access to quality mental health care is low if not non-existent, and the use of any available services may face significant cultural prejudices and stigmas. Reflecting on the fact that over ninety percent of people experiencing mental, neurological, and substance abuse issues do not receive any treatment, the series hopes to spark new discussions on the possibilities for improving care and to introduce potential innovations in the quest to bring mental health care to impoverished locations.

The journal will open the series with a feature on the aspects of depression in parts of the world with poor access to mental health services. Subsequent features are planned for epilepsy, schizophrenia, alcohol abuse issues, dementia, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). As the series’ organizers hold that these mental health concerns constitute the primary issues for which many people may benefit from quality care, published pieces will ostensibly cover suggested ways to bring services for each issue to areas without treatment resources.

A focus on the potential of collaborative therapies that make use of general and non-specialized workers is expected, as is supporting arguments for a combination of medication and psychotherapeutic services and regular screening of at-risk populations. While the mental health professions are faced with a long road towards bringing services in low-resource areas up to par, the series may prove to be a valiant and useful effort.


Medical News Today (2009, October 5). How should mental, neurological, and substance use disorders be treated where resources are scarce? Retrieved from

© Copyright 2009 by By Noah Rubinstein, LMFT, LMHC, therapist in Olympia, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

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  • Carlos


    October 10th, 2009 at 2:03 AM

    A step in the right direction I’d say…it is very disappointing to know that 90 % of people do not get any treatment. But the positive in it is that there is a huge market out there for health-care companies…and this should be pushed forward as much as possible.

  • Marce


    October 11th, 2009 at 2:12 AM

    There could be programs wherein the government can outsource the job of acquiring data regarding areas that are low on the mental health agenda and then provide enough treatment and facilities there… this would save time and bring the facilities to the disadvantaged at the earliest possible.

  • Beth


    October 11th, 2009 at 11:27 AM

    Who are these series targeting- mental health providers or those who suffer from the disease?

  • Thompson


    October 12th, 2009 at 3:39 AM

    Any kind of awareness is welcome to wake up the federal government regarding the not-so-fortunate people and that is has shown nothing but apathy all this while.

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