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Head Chair: Jasmine Mah

The topic guide can be
accessed here.

Mental Health in
Developing Countries

Mental health is an issue found throughout the international community with 450 million people living with a mental disorder, and a predicted 1 in 4 people will receive a mental disorder diagnosis. While this encompasses the global population, mental health in developed and developing countries isn’t quite comparable.

Mental health in developing countries is a far greater challenge. These countries have fewer resources, education, and more stigma with regards to mental health than developed countries which results in a majority of people who are unable or reluctant to seek help. Without mental health professionals and the proper institutions to create these professionals, populations in developing countries have no way to seek help for issues. The lack of education also extends to the general population in issues like how to deal with those who have mental disorders or how to regulate personal anxiety. Further, many developing countries view mental health as a taboo conversation and mental disorders are not normalized to any extent.

In order to make any progress in developing countries, these three blockades need to be considered. Also certain circumstances like how to accommodate for refugees from developing countries who have been relocated and developing countries that house areas of conflict need to be accounted for.

Nutrient Deficiencies in Developing Countries

Nutrient deficiencies can result in profound health issues but at the same are very easy to prevent and relieve. About 795 million people don’t have diets that support a healthy lifestyle. Further, developing countries house the majority of malnourished people which account for 12.9 percent of the population. Deficiencies that pose threats to health include vitamin A, zinc, iron, and iodine.

These deficiencies have truly adverse effects. 1 in 3 child deaths can be attributed to malnutrition. Stunted growth, also a result of nutrient deficiencies, affects brain growth in children. Pregnant women also experience complications when faced with malnutrition. Nutrient deficiency also increases risk of cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis in older people. Not only does nutrient deficiency affect individuals of a country but it hinders the progress of developing countries by promoting stagnation when populations are not experiencing optimal health and cannot reach their potential and grow a country’s success through education, infrastructure, or economy. When targeting nutrient deficiency all the different manifestations of it need to be considered as well combating it through short- and long-term solutions that ensure the wellbeing of populations and encourage development of developing countries.

Jasmine can be contacted at dmunc.who@davismun.org