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    Mental Illness Costs U.S. $282 Billion Annually, Study Estimates

    Mental illness costs the U.S. economy $282 billion annually – about 1.7% of American annual spending, according to a new analysis by Yale researchers.

    The estimate is about 30% larger than previous approximations of the overall cost of mental illness, according to lead researcher Aleh Tsyvinski.

    Earlier studies focused on income loss relating to mental illness and the costs of mental health treatment. The new study also accounted for additional adverse economic outcomes associated with mental illness. These include the fact that people with mental illness consume less, invest less in a house, stocks and other risky assets and may choose less-demanding jobs, HealthDay reports.

    Providing mental health services to everyone between the ages of 16 and 25 experiencing mental illness would reap societal benefits equal to 1.7% of aggregate consumption, the researchers calculated.

    “Economics and psychiatry have developed over 50 years, but they don’t speak to each other very much,” Tsyvinkisi said in a Yale news release. “Here, we’ve put them in conversation in a way that enlightens both and provides us a stronger sense of the societal costs of mental illness as well as what can be gained through policies that seek to expand and improve mental health care.”


    April 2024