EHS-COVID (447) Lancet: Global prevalence and burden of depressive and anxiety disorders in 204 countries (2)

19 October, 2021

Dear colleagues

Thanks for sharing this important paper []. The conclusion suggests that we need to strengthen mental health services in most countries. We have recently published a Cochrane review on the effects of taskshifting of care for people in LMICs with mental disorders and distress to primary-levels workers. The review includes 95 randomised trials from 30 LMICs, and addresses taskshifting for management of anxiety and depression, and also for a range of other mental health issues. Given the shortages of specialist mental health providers in many LMICs, taskshifting is one pathway to strengthening service provision.

The review is available open access in the Cochrane Library:

Best wishes


HIFA profile: Simon Lewin is a health systems researcher at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health ( and the South African Medical Research Council ( He has a keen interest in how research evidence can be used to inform decisions for health systems in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) and at the global level in multilateral organisations such as the WHO. As Joint Co-ordinating Editor of Cochrane Effective Practice and Organisation of Care (EPOC: and lead for the Norwegian EPOC satellite, he has played a key role in strengthening Cochrane’s work in the field of health systems and in developing Cochrane methods for qualitative evidence synthesis. Cochrane is a HIFA supporting organisation and Simon is a member of the HIFA working group on CHWs:

Email: simon.lewin AT