Why more psychological therapy would cost nothing
Richard Layard, David M. Clark 17 July 2014
Mental illness is the main sickness of the working age population with economic costs around 8% of GDP. This column, based on the authors’ recent book, discusses the effectiveness of a large programme of psychological therapy, launched in England in 2008. The savings due to welfare benefits, extra taxes, and physical healthcare outweigh the costs of the programme. In this case, psychological therapy costs nothing.
In rich countries, 38% of all illness is mental illness.1 It particularly affects people of working age where it accounts for 50% of the total (see Fig 1). The overall economic cost has been estimated at 8% of GDP, not to mention the massive suffering involved. Policymakers increasingly wonder what they can do about it.
Figure 1. Mental illness is the main health problem of working age in rich countries.
mental illness, health costs
Are fruit and vegetables good for your mental health as well as your physical health?
Sarah Stewart-Brown 11 November 2012
Eating fruit and vegetables could be good for your mental health. This column explores the evidence, arguing that better surveys need to be carried out if we are to accurately establish causality. If we can understand how mental health is linked to diet, the benefits to the public – and those who decide public policy – could be huge.
Public health policy has an enormous impact on national wellbeing (Delaney, Smith and McGovern 2011). A study recently published in Social Indicators Research (Blanchflower, Oswald and Stewart-Brown 2012) investigated the relationship between fruit and vegetable consumption and mental health. The study drew upon three robust, representative, cross-sectional studies of random samples of adults in three UK countries; England, Scotland, and Wales. Each of these surveys gathered self-reported intake data, measured in portions of fruit and vegetables of up to eight or more a day.
health, Mental health, diet, mental illness