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Benefits of Mental Health Treatment Far Outweigh Costs: WHO

For every dollar spent on improving treatment for depression and anxiety, the return on the investment could be fourfold or higher in terms of increased productivity and health, new research shows.

“This analysis sets out, for the first time, a global investment case for a scaled-up response to the massive public health and economic burden of depression and anxiety disorders,” the authors, led by Dan Chisholm, PhD, of the WHO’s Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, in Geneva, Switzerland, write.

“Previous international economic studies of mental health have assessed the economic effect of these disorders, the cost-effectiveness of different intervention strategies, and the cost of scaling up care, but not the value of both economic and health benefits of intervention scale up,” they add.

The study was published online April 12 in Lancet Psychiatry.