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Submitted by Jill L. Farrington on

Thanks Patricio for drawing attention to this important topic. A close relationship exists between the four main noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and mental health which I recall was particularly highlighted when we were researching the Sub-Saharan African NCD Report. For example, in the WHO African Region Ministerial Consultation on Noncommunicable Diseases, the contribution of mental health conditions to the NCD burden (and vice versa) was recognised as a major challenge to public health in the region (http://www.who.int/nmh/events/2011/africa_ncds_background_paper.pdf) and some even suggested that Africa needed a '5-by-5' strategy that addressed neuropsychiatric disorders as a fifth NCD and transmissible agents as a fifth risk factor given the substantial preventable death and disability caused by each (see Mensah & Mayosi 2012: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23374298).