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Depression damages the economy

June 16, 2009

It might seem tautological to say that “depression is bad for the economy”. But when a recent research report found that depression costs the UK economy £8.6bn a year the writers were not referring to an economic downturn, but rather a mental health issue. 

The blight of depression affecting hundreds of thousands of people across Britain is costing the nation’s ailing economy £8.6bn a year, £3bn more than a decade ago, The Independent can reveal.

Mental health workers are demanding more funds to attempt to turn around the rising cost to the country of the condition, which leads to lost working hours, inefficiency and long-term unemployment. But many fear spending will be squeezed further by a reduced NHS budget, which looks increasingly likely.

The cost of depression is up from £5.2bn in 1999, according to analysis carried out by the independent research service of the House of Commons Library. The rising number of people prevented from working due to their poor mental health is thought to be behind the increase. The figure does not include the heavy burden placed on the NHS by depression. The research predicts that the cost of GP consultations to treat depression amounted to more than £33m in 2007-08, while treating depression in hospitals cost another £218m.

via Depression costs economy £8.6bn a year – Health News, Health & Families – The Independent.

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