Mental Health Care: Anxiety, Depression Costs $1 Trillion Yearly, WHO Study Says


Treatment of mental health disorders including depression and anxiety could cost the global economy $1 trillion yearly. The World Health Organization (WHO) says that mental disorders are rising and the better mental health care treatment is given to workers, productivity and motivation goes up which could be good for the economy.

According to the World Health Organization, poor mental health care treatment for anxiety and depression disorders could set back 12 billion working days or 50 million work hours lost every year. The annual loss of the global economy is estimated to be at $925 billion dollars. The analysis published in Lancet Psychiatry came from mental health treatment data from 36 countries around the world.

Approximately 740 million or 10 percent of the world's population is affected common mental health conditions. The number of people with depression and/or anxiety grew from 416 million to 615 million between 1990 and 2013, the study notes.

"Despite hundreds of millions of people around the world living with mental disorders, mental health has remained in the shadows," President Jim Yong Kim of the World Bank Group said in a statement. "This is not just a public health issue -- it's a development issue. We need to act now because the lost productivity is something the global economy simply cannot afford."

The Guardian notes that every dollar invested in improving mental health care treatment returns to $4 in productivity from workers. The WHO recommends that all countries regardless of income should increase their budget in services like this.

WHO Director-General Margaret Chan states that the study confirms that treatment of depression and anxiety should be prioritized. "We must now find ways to make sure that access to mental health services becomes a reality for all men, women and children, wherever they live," she said in the release.

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