How Americans Feel about the U.S. Role in Global Health | The Center for Victims of Torture

How Americans Feel about the U.S. Role in Global Health

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The renowned Kaiser Family Foundation recently announced the results of a national survey on Americans’ Views on the U.S. Role in Global Health.

According to the survey, approximately seven in ten Americans say U.S. spending to improve health in developing countries helps protect Americans by preventing the spread of diseases, such as Ebola. About six in ten Americans feel this spending is helpful in improving the U.S. image abroad. Thirty-seven percent say spending on global health helps U.S. national security or the U.S. economy (36 percent).

More data from the survey is available here.

As torture survivor rehabilitation professionals, CVT knows conflicts, exposure to violence, torture, sexual and gender based violence, loss of or separation from family members and friends, and other forms of stress can significantly impact a person’s mental and psychosocial well-being.  The prevalence of common mental disorders such as depression or anxiety can double after humanitarian crises while people with pre-existing mental disorders do not have access to needed services and are at risk for violence and abuse.   

Although the needs are especially high in humanitarian settings and low income countries, mental health and psychosocial services are still often underfunded or not included as a priority in development and humanitarian programs. 

CVT and its partners in the Global Mental Health Advocacy Working Group are calling on governments and multilateral agencies to elevate the prioritization, quality and availability of mental health services and activities in such settings, by allocating appropriate resources specifically targeted for mental health and by integrating mental health with other programs.

Last April, in commemoration of World Health Day, the Global Mental Health Advocacy Working Group hosted a briefing, “There is No Health without Mental Health.” Please a previous post for more on this briefing.

 

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