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Economics of mental health: Part I - Economic consequences of neglecting mental health - an Indian perspective

Author(s): Srinivasa SRR Yerramilli | Rajshekhar Bipeta

Journal: Andhra Pradesh Journal of Psychological Medicine
ISSN 2249-5851

Volume: 13;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 80;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: Costs of mental illness | consequences of mental illness on society | mental illness and its impact | burden of mental illness

Background: Mental health is not a priority area for policy makers even today.Objective: The objective of the present review is to sensitize policy makers regarding the importance of investing in mental health. Appraising the policy makers about the costs of mental illness and the negative economic consequences of poor investment in mental health on the society are the aims.Methodology: A review of various studies on the above subject was done using Google Scholar and PubMed.Results: Most of the studies are from World Health Organization (WHO). There is paucity of studies from the developing world. The costs of mental illnesses are high. The indirect costs are much higher than direct costs. Mental illnesses impact not only the individuals but also the family and society at large.Conclusions: The indirect costs of mental illnesses are much higher than the direct costs i.e. the negative economic consequences of not treating the mental illness is much higher than the costs of treatment as concluded by the World Economic Forum. Mental health and socio-economic development appear to go hand in hand. Investing in mental health is therefore investing for development.
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