Study touts robust ROI for mental health investments
- The World Bank and the World Health Organization are working this week to mobilize physicians, aid groups and government officials to push mental healthcare into the position of a global priority.
- Tim Evans, the senior director of health, nutrition and population at the World Bank Group, compared the effort to that required for HIV and AIDS a few decades ago. “We are kick-starting a similar movement for mental health, putting it squarely on the global agenda,” he told the media.
- The effort is being unrolled alongside this week's publication of a WHO-led report in The Lancet Psychiatry that provides the first estimate of the potential global financial returns on investing in treatment for anxiety and depression, the most common mental health disorders.
The study stands out for being the first to suggest treatment for depression and anxiety could result in measurable, global economic benefits, noted CNN.
"We know that treatment of depression and anxiety makes good sense for health and well-being; this new study confirms that it makes sound economic sense, too," said WHO director-general Margaret Chan in a prepared statement.
Researchers say every dollar invested in mental health programs would bring a return of $3 to $5 in recovered economic contributions, as well as lengthen years of the sufferer's healthy life.
Under the assumption of a 5% improvement in health and productivity, researchers calculated that an investment of $147 billion in treatment would bring $400 billion in returns, The New York Times quoted WHO health economist Dan Chisholm, a study co-author.
This push comes shortly after CMS unveiled a final rule aimed to ensure mental health as well as substance use services are covered to the same extent as treatments for physicial conditions for Medicaid and CHIP enrollees. The rule is set to benefit over 23 million enrolled in Medicaid managed care organizations, Medicaid alternative benefit plans, and CHIP, CMS stated.
- Healthcare Dive The ripeness for the behavioral health market is now
- The New York Times Aid Groups Aim to Put Mental Health on World Agenda
- CNN.com Treating anxiety, depression can help global economy, study says
- The Lancet Scaling-up treatment of depression and anxiety: a global return on investment analysis