April 30, 2020
This section covers information about mental health stigma, access and treatment, and provides recommendations for employers and resources on NGOs/National Campaigns in Mexico.
Like many other countries, Mexico's mental health system is overburdened. Consider the following:
- Only 2% of Mexico’s health budget is spent on mental health, and 88% of that goes to psychiatric hospitals, which have been said to have a recent history of neglect and abuse.44,45
- Only about one in five Mexicans who need mental health treatment receive it, and the time it takes to get care typically ranges from about 4 to 20 years.46
- Access to care is significantly worse in rural areas than it is in cities. There are very few clinics or mental health professionals in these areas, and people living in poverty may not even know what a psychologist is.46,47
Snapshot of the Health System Landscape
Mental hospital beds: 3.06 per 100,000 population.
General hospital psychiatric unit beds: 0.03 per 100,000 population.
The majority of persons pay at least 20% toward the cost of mental health services/psychotropic medicine..
National health insurance or reimbursement scheme includes the care and treatment of persons with major mental disorders (defined as psychosis, bipolar disorder, depression).*
Total mental health workers: 4.40 per 100,000 population
15% of the inpatient population stays for more than a year.
No government-adopted or national policy for suicide prevention strategy
*According to data submitted to the World Health Organization (2017)
- There are 19 states in Mexico where there is only one psychiatrist or one bed in a hospital for mental health.46,47
- Generally, health insurance companies in Mexico do not cover mental health, except when it is related to trauma.46,47
- People must either go to the national health service or private facilities. The cost can range from 300-1500 pesos for private facilities. Services in government facilities are free but the wait can range from 3 to 7 months.47
Drive change with our Global Institute.
While EAP usage has been generally low for day-to-day issues,46 mental health experts in Mexico say that they have seen greatly increased utilization in the last year and a half. Frequent presenting issues include family concerns, depression and violence, with mental health and legal/financial problems making up the two largest categories of usage.47 Suicide rates have been rising, particularly in areas that see a lot of conflict.47,48 Historically, people have been reluctant to go to clinical providers because of stigma and discrimination, particularly due to the strong religious nature of the country,46 but now more people are open to going to psychiatrists and psychologists. Still, the cost is too high and the supply is too low.47 Employers who have brought in on-site providers have seen success in increasing utilization and access to care.46
Addressing Mental Health in Mexico
Introduction & Full GuideAddressing Mental Health From a Global and Local Perspective
Part 1Think Global: Strategies that Multinational Employers Use Worldwide
Part 2Act Local: How Access, Stigma and Coverage Vary in Key Markets and Their Impact on Employer Offerings
Part 3Addressing Mental Health in China
Part 4Addressing Mental Health in France
Part 5Addressing Mental Health in India
Part 6Addressing Mental Health in Italy
Part 7Addressing Mental Health in Japan
Part 8Addressing Mental Health in Mexico
Part 9Addressing Mental Health in South Africa
Part 10Addressing Mental Health in Spain
Part 11Addressing Mental Health in United Kingdom
Part 12Addressing Mental Health in United Arab Emirates
Part 13Mental Health Guide: Example Employer Tools and Resources
More TopicsPolicy & Advocacy Compliance
- 1 | Ritchie H and Roser. Mental health. The University of Oxford and the Global ChangeData Lab. Mental health. April 2018. https://ourworldindata.org/mental-health. Accessed January 6, 2020.
- 2 | NHS England. Mental health: Adults and older adults mental health. https://www.england.nhs.uk/mental-health/adults/. Accessed December 5, 2019.
- 3 | United States Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Mental health. https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/leading-health-indicators/2020-lhi-topics/Mental-Health. . Accessed January 13, 2020.
- 4 | World Health Organization. Mental health in the workplace. https://www.who.int/mental_health/in_the_workplace/en/. Updated May 2019. Accessed January 6, 2020.
- 5 | World Economic Forum. It's time to end the stigma around mental health in the workplace. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/05/its-time-to-end-the-stigma-around-mental-health-in-the-workplace/. Accessed January 6, 2020.
- 6 | World Health Organization. Mental health: Massive scale-up of resources needed if global targets are to be met. https://www.who.int/mental_health/evidence/atlas/atlas_2017_web_note/en/. 6 June 2018. Accessed January 6, 2020.
- 7 | The WHO Special Initiative for Mental Health (2019-2023): Universal Health Coverage for Mental Health. Geneva: World Health Organization;2019.
- 8 | The Workplace Wellness Alliance. Making the right investment: Employee health and the power of metrics. Geneva: World Economic Forum;2013.
- 9 | Medline Plus. Mental disorders. https://medlineplus.gov/mentaldisorders.html. Accessed December 10, 2019.
- 10 | Deloitte Insights. The ROI in workplace mental health programs: Good for people, good for business. https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/insights/topics/talent/workplace-mental-health-programs-worker-productivity.html. 04 November 2019. Accessed January 22, 2020.
- 11 | Que J, Lue L, Shi L. Development and challenges of mental health in China. General Psychiatry. 2019;32(1).
- 12 | Lora A, Hanna F, Chisholm D. Mental health service availability and delivery at the global level: an analysis by countries’ income level from WHO's Mental Health Atlas 2014. Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences. 2017:1-12.
- 13 | Mental Health Atlas: Country Profiles. World Health Organization. https://www.who.int/mental_health/evidence/atlas/profiles-2017/en/. Published 2017. Accessed October 25, 2019.
- 14 | Magoon C. In China, mental health care goes virtual. In. Scientific American: Springer Nature America, Inc.; 2019.
- 15 | Shi S. What will the development of psychiatry in China be in 10 years? Gen Psychiatr. 2019;32(2).
- 16 | Chelala C. China's unaddressed mental health problems. Japan Times. May 25, 2015;World.
- 17 | Xu J, Wang J, Wimo A, Qiu C. The economic burden of mental disorders in China, 2005–2013: implications for health policy. BMC Psychiatry. 2016;16(137).
- 18 | China wakes up to its mental-health problems. In. The Economist. Hangzhou 2017.
- 19 | Zhang L. China: Mental health law takes effect on May 1. In. Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress; 2013.
- 20 | The Commonwealth Fund. International health care system profiles: The Chinese Health Care System. https://international.commonwealthfund.org/countries/china/. . Accessed November 26, 2019.
- 21 | White paper: Analyzing trends to deliver optimal EAP services in the Asia Pacific. ComPsych Corporation;2019.
- 22 | Gorvett Z. Can you work yourself to death? BBC. https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20160912-is-there-such-thing-as-death-from-overwork. Published 2016. Accessed October 25, 2019.
- 23 | Asia Dialogue. From treatment to prevention: The role of workplace psychoeducation for mental health in China. March 20, 2019. https://theasiadialogue.com/2019/03/20/from-treatment-to-prevention-the-role-of-workplace-psychoeducation-for-mental-health-in-china/. . Accessed December 9, 2019.
- 24 | State of health in the EU: France country health profile. Paris and Brussels: OECD/European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies 2017.
- 25 | Launay C. Interview with EAP provider from EAP Iberia regarding mental health in France, Spain, Italy. In: Demmer B, Ford A, O'Driscoll K, eds. Washington, DC: Business Group on Health and ComPsych; 2019.
- 26 | Millet L. Challenges and hopes for French Psychiatry. In. Vol 2019: Institut Montaigne; 2018.
- 27 | Why do there seem to be so many mentally ill people in French cities? The Local. January 16, 2019.
- 28 | Suicide rate by country population. Published 2019. Updated August 27. http://worldpopulationreview.com/countries/suicide-rate-by-country/. Published 2019. Updated August 27.
- 29 | France announces extra €40m fund for mental healthcare. The Connexion. January 25, 2019.
- 30 | Bijal AS, Kumar CN, Manjunatha N, Gowda M, Basavaraju V, Math SB. Health insurance and mental illness. Indian J Psychiatry. 2019;61:S791–S797.
- 31 | Kumar A, Singh S. Interview with Santulan and ComPsych India. In: Demmer B, Ford A, O'Driscoll K, eds. Washington DC: ComPsych and Business Group on Health; 2019.
- 32 | Mahapatra D. Court takes first step towards taking suicide off list of crimes. Times of India. March 9, 2018.
- 33 | Bhaskaran, D. livemint. Health insurance plans to cover mental illness too, but will that help? August 20, 2018. https://www.livemint.com/Money/o0pRqJbfCkMiaiPHRV0TSK/Health-plans-to-cover-mental-illness-too-but-will-that-help.html. Accessed November 12, 2019.
- 34 | Forti A. OECD Health Working Papers No. 71. Mental Health Analysis Profiles (MhAPs): Italy. OECD;2014.
- 35 | OECD. Italy led the way in deinstitutionalisation, but regional disparities remain a concern. https://www.oecd.org/els/health-systems/MMHC-Country-Press-Note-Italy.pdf. . Accessed November 25, 2019.
- 36 | World Health Organization. The Italian mental health-care reform: public health lessons. https://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/96/11/18-216002/en/. . Accessed November 25, 2019.
- 37 | The Commonwealth Fund. International health care system profiles: Italy. https://international.commonwealthfund.org/countries/italy/. Accessed November 21, 2019.
- 38 | Barbato A, Vallarino M, Rapisarda F, Lora A, Caldas de Almeida JM. Access to mental health care in Europe. European Union Health Programme;2016.
- 39 | Inoue A, Okido S. Interview with PeaceMind. In: Demmer B, Ford A, O'Driscoll K, eds. Washington, DC: ComPsych and Business Group on Health; 2019.
- 40 | Kobayashi N. Employers must help cut Japan's suicide rate. Nikkei Asian Review. September 10, 2018.
- 41 | Society for Human Resources and Management. Japan: Anti-power harassment law passed. https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/legal-and-compliance/employment-law/pages/global-japan-anti-power-harassment-law-passed.aspx. Published 2019. Updated September 6. Accessed November 18, 2019.
- 42 | The Commonwealth Fund. International health care system profiles: the Japanese health care system. https://international.commonwealthfund.org/countries/japan/. Accessed November 18, 2019.
- 43 | This Week in Asia. In Japan, workplace bullying and harassment are driving women to seek mental health treatment. https://www.scmp.com/week-asia/lifestyle-culture/article/3034742/japan-workplace-bullying-and-harassment-are-driving. Published 2019. Updated October 27. Accessed November 18, 2019.
- 44 | PAHO. Mexico – Quality & Rights: Mental health care and human rights. https://www.paho.org/hq/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=14654:mexico-calidad-y-derechos-atencion-a-la-salud-mental-y-derechos-humanos&Itemid=42050&lang=en. Accessed November 13, 2019.
- 45 | Zabludovsky K. Ex-patients police Mexico’s mental health system. The New York Times2013.
- 46 | Dartiz J, Cuevas J, Aviles JL. Interview with Marsh Mexico. In: Ford A, O'Driscoll K, eds. Washington, DC: National Business Group on Health; 2019.
- 47 | Interview with Martha Pena, EAP provider in Mexico. In: Demmer B, Ford A, O'Driscoll K, eds. Washington, DC: ComPsych and Business Group on Health; 2019.
- 48 | The Conversation. Rising suicides in Mexico expose the mental health toll of living with extreme, chronic violence. August 2, 2018. https://theconversation.com/rising-suicides-in-mexico-expose-the-mental-health-toll-of-living-with-extreme-chronic-violence-99131. Accessed November 15, 2019.
- 49 | Baker McKenzie. Psychosocial risk factors at work. https://www.bakermckenzie.com/en/insight/publications/2018/11/psychosocial-risk-factors-at-work. November 2018. Accessed November 15, 2019.
- 50 | Mexico issues new psychosocial risk legislation for all employers. ComPsych Corporation;2019.
- 51 | El Universal. Mexico, one of the countries with the highest work-related stress, says UNAM. https://www.eluniversal.com.mx/english/mexico-high-work-stress. Accessed November 15, 2019.
- 52 | The Conversation. Why South Africa is failing mental health patients and what can be done about it. October 5, 2016. https://theconversation.com/why-south-africa-is-failing-mental-health-patients-and-what-can-be-done-about-it-66445. Accessed December 10, 2019.
- 53 | Stevens C. Interview with EAP provider LifeAssist. In: Demmer B, Ford A, O'Driscoll K, eds. Washington, DC: ComPsych and Business Group on Health; 2019.
- 54 | Docrat S, Besada D, Cleary S, Daviaud E, Lund C. Mental health system costs, resources and constraints in South Africa: A national survey. Health Policy and Planning. 2019;czz085.
- 55 | Business Group on Health. Mental Health Virtual Summit Part 4: Global Approaches to Address Access and Stigma. https://www.businessgrouphealth.org/resources/mental-health-virtual-summit. November 19, 2019. Accessed December 10, 2019.
- 56 | South African Government. National Health Insurance. https://www.gov.za/about-government/government-programmes/national-health-insurance-0. Accessed November 16, 2019.
- 57 | Reuters. South Africa puts initial universal healthcare cost at $17 billion. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-safrica-health/south-africa-puts-initial-universal-healthcare-cost-at-17-billion-idUSKCN1UY1R2. August 8, 2019. Accessed November 16, 2019.
- 58 | Huffington Post. 5 myths black people need to stop believing about depression. https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/5-myths-black-people-need-to-stop-believing-about-depression_uk_5c7e91cbe4b048b41e39aa74?guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZ29vZ2xlLmNvbS8&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAAIP_isdFLy6Ormr0_iZ4Kyihkm7EPqAVX1VNRewhW0VtasZFlHppniMrTLMzbGOPQ5E-2dwBd8GdDQ0dvjC3Za9QZ7s8HVYyfBUZPwIEoaeFiYnr5xNZsETyhiO3oA2X-p05ieszD_D4YVgOsbyUIWl0kGHA0WSCnBNK6slo_-0P. Accessed December 10, 2019.
- 59 | Docrat S, Lund C, Chisholm D. Sustainable financing options for mental health care in South Africa: findings from a situation analysis and key informant interviews. International Journal of Mental Health Systems. 2019;13.
- 60 | World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe. Fact sheets on sustainable development goals: health targets. Mental health. http://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0017/348011/Fact-sheet-SDG-Mental-health-UPDATE-02-05-2018.pdf. Accessed December 9, 2019.
- 61 | Mental Health Atlas 2014: Country profiles. World Health Organization. https://www.who.int/mental_health/evidence/atlas/profiles-2014/en/. Published 2014. Accessed October 25, 2019.
- 62 | Mind. Mental health facts and statistics. https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/statistics-and-facts-about-mental-health/how-common-are-mental-health-problems/#.XemcMOhKg2x. Accessed December 5, 2019.
- 63 | Mental Health at Work. https://www.mentalhealthatwork.org.uk/?ctaId=%2Fworkplace%2Fmental-health-at-work-gateway%2Fslices%2Fmental-health-at-work%2F. Accessed December 6, 2019.
- 64 | Hewlett E, Horner K. OECD Health Working Papers No. 81: Mental Health Analysis Profiles (MhAPs): England. Paris: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development;2015.
- 65 | NHS. How to access mental health services. https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/nhs-services/mental-health-services/how-to-access-mental-health-services/. Accessed December 5, 2019.
- 66 | Achieving better access to mental health services by 2020. NHS England and Department of Health;2014.
- 67 | NHS England. Individual Placement and Support offers route to employment for people with severe mental health conditions. https://www.england.nhs.uk/mental-health/case-studies/individual-placement-and-support-offers-route-to-employment-for-people-with-severe-mental-health-conditions/. Accessed December 5, 2019.
- 68 | Health and Safety Executive. Work-related stress. https://www.hse.gov.uk/stress/index.htm. Accessed December 6, 2019.
- 69 | Arab News. The hidden face of mental illness in the Middle East. https://www.arabnews.com/node/1496661/middle-east. Accessed December 1, 2019.
- 70 | YouGov. Most UAE residents would seek professional help for mental health issues. https://mena.yougov.com/en/news/2019/05/07/most-uae-residents-would-seek-professional-help-me/. May 7, 2019. Accessed December 1, 2019.
- 71 | The Government of the United Arab Emirates. Mental Health. https://www.government.ae/en/information-and-services/health-and-fitness/health-of-vulnerable-groups/mental-health. Accessed December 1, 2019.
- 72 | Sayed MA. Mental Health Services in the United Arab Emirates: Challenges and opportunities. International Journal of Emergency Mental Health and Human Resilience. 2015;17:661-663.
- 73 | Ramahi NA. The National. Suicide attempters to be treated not punished, say Dubai Police. June 27, 2018. https://www.thenational.ae/uae/suicide-attempters-to-be-treated-not-punished-say-dubai-police-1.744874. . Accessed December 1, 2019.
- 74 | Shahrour T, Mohan S, Siddiq M, Hammasi KE, Alsaadi T. Suicide attempters in Abu Dhabi: Is criminal prosecution associated with patients’ guardedness? Journal of Death Studies. 2018;42:636-639.
- 75 | Centre for Global Mental Health. The friendship bench. https://www.centreforglobalmentalhealth.org/the-friendship-bench. . Accessed December 11, 2019.