Can We Measure The Financial Costs Of The Adverse Effects Of Mental Health

The numbers were already high with around one in four adults experiencing some form of mental health illness and around one in ten children but we all know and care for people who do. The Coronavirus has no doubt increased this number with loneliness and anxiety being more prevalent.

One in four adults and one in 10 children experience mental illness, and many more of us know and care for people who do.

The numbers for adults and children who suffer with mental health illness according to the NHS

One in six adults will have a mental health problem at any one time. 

 17.6% of adults in England have at least one common mental disorder 

 0.4% of adults in England have a psychotic disorder, and 80% are receiving treatment 

 0.3% of adults in England have antisocial personality disorder 

 0.4% of adults in England have borderline personality disorder.

10% of children in the UK have a diagnosable mental health condition.

13–16% of older people in England have severe depression, and up to 50% of older people in residential care.

One in 20 people over 65 in the UK has some form of dementia, rising to one in five people over 80.

 One third of all mental health service activity in England is concerned with the care and treatment of people over 65.

This is a huge number of people, and it’s a scary one too. Mental illness is an expensive problem. It is an emergency that requires immediate attention and care. The Government needs to take this into account when looking at the overall cost for the country’s National Health Service and set budgets that recognise that mental health issues are a crisis that needs to be tackled at source. 

This past week I read an article about care costs for some common mental illness symptoms. Mental illness symptoms that would be common for a child, but might be a little more unusual or hard to identify for a child of different ages.

Some of these were: loss of appetite, increased sleeping time, agitation, and tantrums.  Overall child care costs need to consider food, clothing and transportation. But what happens to other children with mental illness, but for kids in families that can’t afford treatment, they may never receive treatment. Many children are diagnosed with ADHD and many of them don’t receive the treatment that they need.

Around one in five children are bullied with mental issues every week. That’s three children every week. A normal child who can’t pay for treatment is just left to be ignored. There are more kids with mental health issues than cancer and heart disease combined. This is an emergency and our children are not being taken care of.

‘The financial costs of the adverse effects of mental illness on people’s quality of life are estimated at £41.8 billion per annum in England. Wider costs to the national economy in terms of welfare benefits, lost productivity at work etc. amount to some £77 billion a year’

“It may come as some surprise to you that mental health issues are most common among teenagers.” I would think mental health issues would be something that you would want to prevent instead of treat. How do you prevent something that is happening already?  The cost to our country runs into the Billions of Pounds but the cost to quality of life for many is immeasurable.