Mental and neurological conditions account for 9% of the global burden of disease and cost the global economy over US$3 trillion annually. These numbers are likely underestimates, not reflecting the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental and neurological health. Yet only 14% of the global disease burden for mental health can be averted by 2040 by scaling up existing treatments, which means that significant additional investment in research is needed.

The Intersection of COVID-19 and Brain Health session will discuss how COVID-19 affects mental and neurological health and identify key gaps and opportunities to make an impact. There will be a special focus on the effects in developing countries. The presentation will conclude with an introduction of the Healthy Brains Global Initiative (HBGI), an ambitious US$10 billion initiative recently profiled in the Financial Times. HBGI will mobilize US$500 million to address brain health in the context of COVID-19.