TED Talk Tackles Global Mental Health Workforce Shortage


Vikram Patel, PhD, delivered a TED talk at TEDGlobal2012 encouraging the training of laypeople to deliver mental health services to help meet the worldwide mental health workforce shortage. Patel, trained as a psychiatrist in Britain, highlighted the gap between mental health needs and service provision for people with mental health problems — “the vast majority of these individuals do not receive the care that can vastly improve their lives.” This is a major problem in developed countries and is an even greater problem in developing countries. Patel explains that there is a gulf between the knowledge we have about mental health and what to do with that knowledge. In developing countries, where mental health professional are in short supply, alternative resources may need to be considered. Three experiments are highlighted in which lay persons were trained to deliver psychotherapy with positive outcomes. Patel makes the case that “in order for us to achieve health for all, we will have to involve all in that particular journey.”

View the TED Talk.

Read the associated blog post.