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Int J Ment Health Syst. 2016 Jun 2;10:45. doi: 10.1186/s13033-016-0077-3. eCollection 2016.

Mental health services and R&D in South Korea.

Author information

1
Department of Mental Health Research, Seoul National Hospital, Seoul, South Korea ; Department of Psychiatry, Hanyang University School of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea.
2
Department of Mental Health Research, Seoul National Hospital, Seoul, South Korea ; Department of Preventive Medicine, School of Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, South Korea.
3
Department of Addiction Psychiatry, Seoul National Hospital, Seoul, South Korea.
4
Department of Psychiatry, Seoul National Hospital, Seoul, South Korea.
5
Department of Mental Health Research, Seoul National Hospital, Seoul, South Korea.
6
Division of Planning & Public Relations, Seoul National Hospital, Seoul, South Korea.
7
Department of Psychiatry, Kangwon National University School of Medicine, Chunchon, Korea.
8
Seoul National Hospital, 389 Neungdong-ro, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul, 04933 South Korea.

Abstract

World Health Organization has asserted that mental illness is the greatest overriding burden of disease in the majority of developed countries, and that the socioeconomic burden of mental disease will exceed that of cancer and cardiovascular disorders in the future. The life-time prevalence rate for mental disorders in Korea is reported at 27.6 %, which means three out of 10 adults experience mental disorders more than once throughout their lifetime. Korea's suicide rate has remained the highest among Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) nations for 10 consecutive years, with 29.1 people out of every 100,000 having committed suicide. Nevertheless, a comprehensive study on the mental health services and the Research and Development (R&D) status in Korea is hard to find. Against this backdrop, this paper examines the mental health services and the R&D status in Korea, and examines their shortcomings and future direction. The paper discusses the mental health service system, budget and human resources, followed by the mental health R&D system and budget. And, by a comparison with other OECD countries, the areas for improvement are discussed and based on that, a future direction is suggested. This paper proposes three measures to realize mid and long-term mental health promotion services and to realize improvements in mental health R&D at the national level: first, establish a national mental health system; second, forecast demand for mental health; and third, secure and develop mental health professionals.

KEYWORDS:

Mental health R&D; Mental health services

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