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Nepal Map

Nepal at a glance


Total population: 29 Million (2013)

Geography: Mountain, Hill and Terai

Rural and Remote: 85.8 % of people live in rural areas

GDP - per capita (PPP): $1,500 U.S. (2013)

Ethnicity: 125 ethnic groups

Development regions: Eastern, Central, Western Mid-Western and Far Western with 14 Zones and 75 Districts


Mental Health Care in Brief


  • While there are examples of excellent, contemporary practice in the field of mental health care in Nepal, resources per capita are extremely low at just 0.7% of the total annual government health budget (which is 4% of the total government budget).

  • Less than 1% of NGOs in Nepal are involved in the provision of mental health care.

  • Rural populations have major problems with access to and affordability of quality treatment.

  • Mental health problems are still a major stigma.

  • Cultural understanding of what is mental illness is different to Western concepts.

  • Key determinants of psychological morbidity in Nepal relate to the trauma and displacement as a result of conflict, family break-up due to migration for work, gender issues and socioeconomic status.

  • There are specific problems for women.

  • Suicide is the highest morbidity for women of reproductive age.

  • Hazardous drug and alcohol use is very high.

  • Traditional family and community support enhances resilience.

Comparative data (OECD 2009)

Psychiatric beds per 100,000 

Nepal: 0.08   Australia 40

Psychiatrists per 100,000

Nepal: 0.12   Australia: 15

Psychiatric nurses per 100,000

Nepal: 0.08    Australia: 15.6

Psychologists per 100,000

Nepal: 0.08    Australia: 97

Social workers per 100,000

Nepal: 0.08     Australia: 86


Mental Health in Nepal


For an excellent coverage of information relating to mental health a desktop review (2015) of mental health status and services is recommended. There are also more recent reviews of the cultural aspects of mental illness (Chase et al, 2018 Global Mental Health).


See the Nepal Earthquakes 2015: Desk Review of Existing Information with Relevance to Mental Health & Psychosocial Support 

Important Links




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