Thursday, May 8, 2008

Mental Illness Costs the US Nearly 200B dollars in lost Productivity

I thought this was a pretty interesting story given that Mental Health is both under-diagnosed and treatment under-funded.

Mental Illness Costs U.S. Billions in Lost Earnings

13 minutes ago

THURSDAY, May 8 (HealthDay News) -- Serious mental illness costs Americans
at least $193 billion a year in lost earnings alone, a new report shows.

The study broadly defines mood and anxiety disorders that greatly limit a person's
ability to function for at least 30 days a year, including instances of any
condition linked to suicidal behaviors or frequent violent acts, as serious
mental illness (SMI).

"Lost earning potential, costs associated with
treating coexisting conditions, Social Security payments, homelessness and
incarceration are just some of the indirect costs associated with mental
illnesses that have been difficult to quantify," Dr. Thomas R. Insel, director
of the National Institute of Mental Health, said in a prepared statement. "This
study shows us that just one source of these indirect costs is staggeringly

Insel's agency funded the study. The results were published in the May
issue of The American Journal of Psychiatry.

The researchers analyzed 2002 data collected from a nationally representative study of almost 5,000 Americans, aged 18 to 64, to determine earnings lost in the year prior to the survey. They found that respondents with SMI reported receiving about 40 percent less in earnings than those without serious mental disorders, who earned an average

Researchers arrived at the $193.2 billion figure by extrapolating these results to the general population. They figured most of this comes from the lessened amount of income people with SMI were likely to earn, while the rest of the loss comes from the increased odds that their mental state would prevent them from having any earnings at all.

"The results of this study confirm the belief that mental disorders contribute to enormous losses of human productivity," lead researcher Ronald C. Kessler, of Harvard University, said in a prepared statement. "Yet this estimate is probably conservative, because the [survey used] did not assess people in hospitals or prisons, and included very few participants with autism, schizophrenia or other chronic illnesses that are known to greatly affect a person's ability to work. The actual costs are probably higher that what we have estimated."

More information The U.S. Surgeon General has more about mental illness.
Copyright © 2008 HealthDay.


Curious said...

You know some sort of cheap joke could be put here about people missing days from work for mental health reasons or whatever, but it is something that is really so important that both Democratic presidential candidates have listed it as a concern on their platforms. They both believe that people need to be made more aware of the illnesses and have less stimas attached. Also, it's something that would be covered by both of their insurance plans.

WhozHe said...

I'm glad you posted this information. The effects of major depression seems to be under estimated in the black community. The church wants you to believe that all you have to do is pray and you'll be healed. Well that's like telling someone with high blood pressure all you have to do is pray.

Mental illness is real and without treatment can get worst.

Torrance Stephens bka All-Mi-T said...

even more if u count cost of using prisons as mental hospitals

mrshadow33 said...

This is something that all of us, especially in the Black community must start taking seriously. We have to obtain the information and learn the symptoms of mental illness. We have to move beyond just prayer and also look to medicine and holistic therapies so that we can help those afflicted. said...


Thank you for posting this!

It is a reminder to me to finish my essay about black women and how we are impacted by mental and emotional illness and do not openly dialogue about it!

Keep sharing these excellent issues!

Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!