A Comparative Study of Mental Illness in the United States Compared to Developing Countries: Analyzing the Role of the Health Care Systems and Eastern vs. Western Psychology

Megan Hossler


The research presented is part of a comparative study of mental illness in the United States compared to developing countries. Comparison is between the type of health care systems and the type of psychology practiced in order to help understand why mental illness is universally prevalent. What is missing in these regions of the world that is preventing mental illness from being treated successfully? The main purpose of this research is to answer that question by exploring the relationship between healthcare and psychological practices in these areas of the world. In both developed and developing countries there is a large gap between the need for treatment of mental disorders and the resources available; in developed countries between 44% and 70% of patients with mental disorders do not receive treatment, and in developing countries the gap has neared 90%22. These gaps are due to the lack of trained professionals in these areas and the cost of treatment. In addition to this problem, the two very different practices of Eastern and Western psychology in different regions of the world make it impossible to apply universal treatment in order to effectively treat mental illness. Research for this project came from scholarly journals and interviews with clinically licensed psychologist who practice combined Eastern-Western psychology. Statistics provided by the World Health Organization were utilized in order support the found correlation. The conclusion provided at the end of research was that there is a supported correlation between the healthcare provided and the type of psychology practiced. In order to effectively treat mental illness there must be a global understanding and implementation of treatment. Research supported the claim that mental illness can only be effectively treated if both the healthcare system and psychology are aligned and aimed at accomplishing the same goal.


Mental illness; Mindfulness; Conjunctive Psychology; Mental Health; Global Psychology; Community Health

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