The Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, WHO organized a meeting on Mental Health Research in Developing Countries: Role of Scientific Journals in Geneva on 20 and 21 November 2003 that was attended by twenty-five editors representing journals publishing mental health research. A number of other editors reviewed and contributed to the background and follow-up material. This statement is issued by all participants jointly (see Appendix 1 for the list of journals/organizations and their representatives).
Research is needed to address the enormous unmet mental health needs of low- and middle-income (LAMI) countries. Scientific journals play an important role in production and dissemination of research. However, at present, only a minute proportion of research published in widely accessible mental health and psychiatric journals is from or about these countries. Yet over 85% of the world's population lives in the 153 countries categorized as low- and middle-income, according to World Bank criteria. Even more worrying is the observation that the gap between these and high-income countries may be widening in terms of their number of publications. The meeting was aimed at finding ways of resolving this unsatisfactory situation.