A brighter future: The relationships between cash transfers, mental health, and investments
- Impact Area
BY MELISSA HIDROBO, NAUREEN KARACHIWALLA AND SHALINI ROY
Mental ill-health is a significant disease burden. It is responsible for 8% of disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) globally—one DALY represents the loss of the equivalent of one year of full health. In low and middle-income countries, adequate care for mental illness is largely inaccessible and the treatment gap (the percentage of individuals who require care but do not receive treatment) is estimated at 80%. Moreover, problems with mental health and psychological well-being are generally linked to poverty, and the two reinforce one another. Living in poverty involves continual stress and worry due to uncertainty (especially for those working in agriculture), health problems and lack of healthcare, pollution, noise, and trauma and violence. Persistent stress can lead to depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders (which are often co-morbid). These disorders can impair decision-making about the future, leading to reduced savings and investments and contributing to continued poverty.
Photo credit: Ralf Steinberger