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Spending on mental health brings good return on investment, study finds

BMJ 2016; 353 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i2134 (Published 13 April 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;353:i2134
  1. Anne Gulland
  1. London

Every $1 (£0.70; €0.88) spent on scaling up treatments for depression and anxiety leads to a return of $4 in terms of better health and ability to work, a study has found.1

The study, published in the Lancet Psychiatry, was carried out by World Health Organization researchers in Geneva, Switzerland, along with researchers from Australia and the Netherlands. It modelled the costs and benefits of increasing treatments for depression and anxiety disorders in 36 low, middle, and high income countries from 2016 until 2030.

The estimated costs of scaling up treatment, primarily psychosocial counselling and antidepressant drugs, amounted to $147bn. This would yield a 5% improvement in participation in the workforce and productivity, valued at …

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