Policy Study Report – 2009 BasicNeeds Sri Lanka Financing Mental Health Care in Sri Lanka

DALYs is a combination of years of life lost (YLL) and years of life lived with disability (YLD) which takes into account the years of healthy future life lost due to premature mortality and disability or injury respectively, and is a measure of overall healthy future life lost due to death, disease, disability and injury (Lopez, n.d.). This burden of mental health disorders in the region is further worsened and complicated in Sri Lanka by the conflict situation and terrorist activities that had been present for the past three and also by the recent Tsunami disaster that struck the island on 26th of December 2004.
To further exemplify the high contribution of the mental health disorders to the burden of diseases and it’s relation to the Sri Lankan context it would be worthwhile to note that in middle income countries Unipolar depressive disorder ranks right at the first place among the causes of disease burden (WHO, 2004).
This inadequate funding and many other associated reasons such as inadequate human resources with right skills in mental health care, lack of knowledge and prioritization by policy makers and leaders in mental health care delivery services, and preventing decentralization and integration of mental health services to the peripheral communities leaving them concentrated in urban areas have been identified as some key barriers of providing quality and extensive mental health care in low and middle income countries increasing the treatment gap thus the disease burden at a community level.

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