WHO: Investment in Health care leads to Better Economy

Edited by Nelly T.

According to a study released on Tuesday by WHO shows the better treatment of anxiety and depression costs the global economy $A1.3 trillion a year. The study estimates for the first time both the health and the economic benefits of spending more on treating the most common forms of mental illness.

The study suggests that every dollar invested produces a fourfold return in work productivity and better health, however, the World Health Organization findings also notes most countries are investing far below what is needed for those suffering from common mental disorders.

The number of people suffering from common mental disorders is now increasing worldwide; statistics in 1990 (416 million) rose to 615 million in 2013 said the UN agency in the study.

Jim Yong Kim, president of World Bank voiced his concerns in a press release “despite hundreds of millions of people around the world living with mental disorders, mental health has remained in the shadows.

“This is not just a public health issue – it’s a development issue.”

Last year world leaders included mental health in an ambitious plan to end poverty and inequality by 2030.

Director general of the World Health Organisation, Margaret Chan said, “We know that treatment of depression and anxiety makes good sense for health and wellbeing; this new study confirms that it makes sound economic sense too.

“We must now find ways to make sure that access to mental health services becomes a reality for all men, women and children, where they live,” She added.

The World Bank and the World Health Organisation is set to hold a high-level meeting on mental health this week, after the study was published with data based from 36 low, middle and high-income countries.

According to the WHO 2014 survey governments worldwide spend just 3% of their health budgets on mental health care – ranging from less than 1% in low-income countries to 5% in high-income countries.

“Mental health needs to be a global humanitarian and development priority – and a priority in every country,” Professor of medical anthropology and psychiatry at Harvard University, Arthur Kleinman said.