The hidden costs of mental health
Awareness of mental health issues is rising, but that has not been correlated with increased provision of therapies or integration of those therapies into mainstream medicine.
It is quite difficult to understand considering the barrage of statistics supporting the claim that mental health support needs to be integrated into mainstream medicine. For example, over 10% of adult healthcare costs are spent on physical symptoms caused or exacerbated by mental health conditions (Mental Health Foundation). Mental health creates a £105 billion drain on the NHS – which is greater than heart disease and cancer combined.
The issues presenting in patients with poor mental health are often not as simple as high cholesterol, and drugs have minimal impact. However, the scale argument comes into play – the benefits of developing effective therapies for mental health conditions would surely outweigh the time taken to develop them, and the consequences of poor mental health for all concerned.
What more of an incentive do we need to integrate mental health services and considerations into mainstream medicine?