Economic and social costs of mental illness in England

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4 June 2003

Mental illness costs us more as a society than crime, and this policy paper calculates what the economic and social costs of mental illness are. The main areas of cost - health and social care, human cost and loss to the economy - are all profiled, showing their many components, and the impact on different groups in the population.

The costs of mental health problems in England comprise:

  • £12.5 billion for care provided by the NHS, local authorities, privately funded services, family and friends;
  • £23.1 billion in lost output in the economy caused by people being unable to work (paid and unpaid);
  • £41.8 billion in the human costs of reduced quality of life, and loss of life, amongst those experiencing a mental health problem.

The study demonstrates the benefits of reducing the prevalence and severity of mental illness.

Audience: policy makers

Free to download below.

This paper was updated in 2010

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