Co-morbidity refers to the presence of co-occurring mental and physical disorders in the same person. This is regardless of the chronological order in which they occur or the link between them (1). Co-morbid mental disorders such as depression and anxiety are well recognized globally and are important public health issues. Co-morbidity surveys estimate that approximately 29% of adults with medical conditions also have psychiatric co-morbidity and that 68% of adults with mental disorders also have medical conditions (2). Despite the high prevalence of mental disorders including comorbid conditions globally, there exists a huge treatment gap.
Research has estimated that less than one-third of individuals meeting the criteria for various mental disorders actually receive any treatment. This is magnified in low and middle income countries where almost two-thirds of patients with mental disorders do not receive adequate treatment that they require (3).