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Submitted by Ivar Cederholm on

Thanks for putting the spotlight on a very important development issue. I don't think that we can use any metrics to even try to evaluate the cost effectiveness of these types of interventions since we do not have any meaningful baseline and an effective way of measuring the impact of treating mental disorders. The hidden statistics are likely to be very high. Through the Ebola Recovery and Reconstruction Trust Fund we provided a relatively small grant to support children who lost parents and/or siblings to the EVD through psycho-social interventions. This small intervention has done a lot of good to help ease the trauma suffered by children and we cannot underestimate the development impact of helping children get back to a more normal mental health level. As a development institution, we need to look at all aspects of development and not assume that others will pick up in areas where we normally don't operate. This is such an area that can have a transformational impact. I therefore welcome this article as a first step to discuss how we can increase our engagement with NGOs and other field based development partners that are operating in our fragile client countries and that are delivering interventions to improve mental health. Together we can do so much more. As mentioned, I think that the numbers in the article of people with psycho-social disorders caused by conflict and extreme poverty are likely to be significantly underestimated. We know from the UNHCR, that there are over 60 million displaced people by conflicts and natural disasters and some have been displaced for almost a lifetime. At some point a human will lose hope about the future and develop what could be irreparable mental disorders that puts a halt to development and more likely in reversal with a very negative long term impact on development.