Mental illnesses likely to cost world $16tn by 2030

Mental health disorders are on the rise in every country in the world and could cost the global economy up to $16 trillion between 2010 and 2030 if a collective failure to respond is not addressed, according to an expert report. The ‘Lancet Commission’ report by 28 global specialists in psychiatry, public health and neuroscience, as well as mental health patients and advocacy groups, said the growing crisis could cause lasting harm to people, communities and economies worldwide.

While some of the costs will be the direct costs of healthcare and medicines or other therapies, most are indirect — in form of loss of productivity, and spending on social welfare, education and law and order, the report’s co-lead author Vikram Patel said. The wide-ranging report did not give the breakdown of the potential $16 trillion economic impact it estimated by 2030. “The situation is extremely bleak,” Patel, a professor at Harvard Medical School said.