Which countries have the highest number of mental health professionals per 100,000 inhabitants?
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We’ve looked at the prevalence of chronic depression in Europe. On this map, we can see how this relates to the number of psychiatrists per 100,000 inhabitants. Depression and mental health in general, is often a medical issue that doesn’t get the attention it requires in most countries.
Iceland, Portugal, Sweden, Denmark, Croatia, Germany and Luxembourg have the highest rate of reported chronic depression in Europe (all over 10%). When looking at the number of psychiatrists, Germany, Luxembourg, Sweden and Iceland do seem to take this problem more serious. For Portugal and Croatia, the number of psychiatrists is a bit lower than the other countries with a high rate of chronic depression.
Switzerland and Liechtenstein have by far the highest number of psychiatrists per 100,000 inhabitants in Europe. Sadly, there is no data on the prevalence of chronic depression for these two countries. Another country with a very high number of psychiatrists is Greece. Interestingly, Greece has one of the lower rates of chronic depression in Europe (3.8%).
Romania and Bulgaria have by far the lowest rates of chronic depression in Europe, but also one of the lowest numbers of psychiatrists. It could indeed be true that a lot less people in Romania and Bulgaria suffer from chronic depression, but it could also be the case that the mental healthcare in those countries is not as good as in other European countries and therefore there could be the possibility that there are more people suffering from chronic depression in those countries than the actual diagnosis.
This goes for other European countries as well, there will always be a gap between the reported and the actual prevalence of chronic depression. How big that gap is, probably varies quite strongly by country. Mental health professionals are of course better at making a diagnosis of whether someone suffers from depression. Which could mean that a higher number of psychiatrists results in a more accurate number of the prevalence of chronic depression in that country. Which creates a chicken and egg situation. Are there not many psychiatrists because the rate of chronic depression is low or is the rate of chronic depression low because there aren’t enough psychiatrists to give a proper medical diagnosis?
The data for this map comes from Eurostat.