ArticlesMental health services in low- and middle-income countries: an overviewSaxena, Shekhar; Maulik, Pallab K.Author Information Mental Health: Evidence and Research, Department of Mental Health and Substance Dependence, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland Curr Opin Psychiatry 16:437–442. © 2003 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Correspondence to Dr Shekhar Saxena, Coordinator, Mental Health: Evidence and Research, Department of Mental Health and Substance Dependence, World Health Organization, Geneva 27, CH1211 Switzerland Tel: +41 22 7913625; fax: + 41 22 7914160; e-mail: email@example.com Current Opinion in Psychiatry 2003, 16:437–442 Current Opinion in Psychiatry: July 2003 - Volume 16 - Issue 4 - p 437-442 doi: 10.1097/01.yco.0000079213.36371.89 Buy Metrics Abstract The overview puts into perspective available information on mental health services in low- and middle-income countries. The World Health Organization has provided global baseline information on available resources. Researchers are increasingly focusing on specific areas like deinstitutionalization, patients' rights, and improvement of community care services. There is a need for comparable data on specific indicators, both as a tool for measuring the current status and for monitoring progress over time. Purpose of review Information and research on mental health services has been less extensive compared with other areas in psychiatry, and the situation is even worse in low- and middle-income countries. This review highlights the available information in the field of mental health services in low- and middle-income countries over the last few years, with an emphasis on the year 2002. Recent findings In the past, most reports described mental health services in particular countries. In the last year, findings from Project Atlas of the World Health Organization provided comparable data on mental health resources from 185 countries of the world. This is an addition to the literature providing detailed information on the development of community and primary care services across many low- and middle-income group countries. © 2003 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.