Mental health statistics: global and nationwide costs

Global cost of mental health problems

  • Untreated mental health problems account for 13% of the total global burden of disease. It is projected that, by 2030, mental health problems (particularly depression) will be the leading cause of mortality and morbidity globally.1
  • According to WHO's Atlas (2014), globally, governments are the most commonly cited source of funding for mental health services, with non-governmental and not-for-profit organisations coming second, followed by employers (through social health insurance) and household income (private insurance and out-of-pocket).2

Cost of mental health problems in the UK

  • The 2013 Chief Medical Officer’s report estimated that the wider costs of mental health problems to the UK economy are £70–100 billion per year – 4.5% of gross domestic product (GDP).3
  • However, estimating this figure is very complex and an earlier study carried out by Centre for Mental Health found that, taking into account reduced quality of life, the annual costs in England alone were £105.2 billion.4

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  1. WHO. (2011). Global burden of mental disorders and the need for a comprehensive, coordinated response from health and social sectors at the country level: Report by the Secretariat. Retrieved from pdf_files/EB130/B130_9-en.pdf [Accessed 02/07/16].
  2. WHO. (2014). Mental Health Atlas. Retrieved from mental_health/evidence/atlas/mental_health_atlas_2014/en/ [Accessed 05/07/16].
  3. Department of Health. (2014). Annual Report of the Chief Medical Officer 2013: Public Mental Health Priorities: Investing in the Evidence. Retrieved from [Accessed 05/08/16].
  4. Centre for Mental Health. (2010). The Economic and Social Costs of Mental Health Problems in 2009/10. Centre for Mental Health. Retrieved from[1].pdf [Accessed 04/11/16].