Poor countries are developing a new paradigm of mental health care. America is taking note.

By Sigal Samuel

When you look at the numbers, it’s easy to gape in horror.

In Ghana, a nation of 32 million people, there are only 62 psychiatrists.

Zimbabwe, with a population of 15 million, has only 19 psychiatrists.

And in Uganda, there are 47 psychiatrists serving a country of 48 million — less than one single psychiatrist for every million people.

These are staggering ratios. To get your head around them, take the US as a comparison. There are around 45,000 psychiatrists for all 333 million Americans, which translates to about 135 psychiatrists for every million people. That’s still not enough — experts are actually warning of an escalating shortage — and yet it’s a whopping 135 times more coverage than exists in Uganda.