Chris Underhill

Founder President, BasicNeeds

Skoll Awardee


Chris Underhill is a global expert in the delivery of health and rehabilitation systems to very poor people. A serial social entrepreneur he is the founder of BasicNeeds which is concerned with the delivery of a holistic model to mentally ill people and people with epilepsy in the poorest communities of the world. The BasicNeeds Model is a significant innovation in community mental health care delivery combining medical, social, economic and personal aspects into one successful programme. By September 2015 a cumulative total of 646,584 beneficiaries (participant, carer, family) had been served in the global BasicNeeds programme. Chris is a Senior Fellow of the Ashoka Fellowship, a recipient of the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship and a Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur. In 2000 Chris was made an MBE by the Queen for his services to disability and development. Recognising that no one agency or indeed no one government can provide sufficiently for the 385 million people living without treatment in low resource settings Chris is proposing a Collective Action in the funding of global mental ill health so as to achieve Parity of Esteem between physical and mental ill illness.