In spite of the high prevalence of mental health disorders in Chile, there is a significant financing deficit in this area when compared to the world’s average. The financing for mental health has not increased in accordance with the objectives proposed in the 2000 Chilean National Mental Health and Psychiatry Plan, and only three of the six mental health priorities proposed by this plan have secure financial coverage. The National Health Strategy for the Fulfilment of Health Objectives for the decade 2011-2020 acknowledges that mental disorders worsen the quality of life, increase the risk of physical illness, and have a substantial economic cost for the country. Thus, this article focuses on the importance of investing in mental health, the cost of not doing so, and the need for local mental health research. The article discusses how the United States is trying to eliminate the financial discrimination suffered by patients with mental health disorders, and concludes with public policy recommendations for Chile.
Chile; Government financing; Mental health; Parity; Public health