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Fourfold Return On Investment In Mental Health, WHO-Led Study Shows; WHO, World Bank Convene Meeting To Boost Mental Health On Global Agenda

News outlets report on the findings of a new WHO-led study examining the return on investments in mental health, as well as a meeting convened by the WHO and the World Bank taking place this week in Washington, D.C., to address the issue.

CNN: Treating anxiety, depression can help global economy, study says
“…For every U.S. dollar invested in treating depression and anxiety, there was a $4 return in better health and ability to work, according to a new WHO-led study published Tuesday in The Lancet Psychiatry. The study is the first to argue that there are global economic benefits in investing in treatments for depression and anxiety…” (Imam, 4/12).

Newsweek: Worldwide Mental Health Investment Would Lead to a Projected $310 Billion Saved
“…The study … looked at the predicted costs and outcomes of treatment in 36 low-, middle-, and high-income countries between 2016 and 2030. Currently, investment in mental health is ‘far lower than what is needed,’ the study argues, with governments spending just one to five percent of health budgets on mental health…” (Westcott, 4/12).

New York Times: Aid Groups Aim to Put Mental Health on World Agenda
“…This week, the World Bank and the World Health Organization are convening hundreds of doctors, aid groups, and government officials to start an ambitious effort to move mental health to the forefront of the international development agenda. ‘The situation with mental health today is like HIV/AIDS two decades ago,’ Tim Evans, the senior director of health, nutrition, and population at the World Bank Group, said Tuesday in a call with reporters. ‘We are kick-starting a similar movement for mental health, putting it squarely on the global agenda’…” (Carey, 4/12).

Reuters: Better mental health treatment would boost nations’ economies: WHO
“…Last year, world leaders included mental health in an ambitious plan to end poverty and inequality by 2030, enshrined in 17 Sustainable Development Goals. ‘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,’ said Margaret Chan, director general of the WHO…” (Whiting, 4/12).

USA TODAY: WHO: Better mental health care means a better economy
“…As the number of people suffering from common mental disorders — such as depression and anxiety — skyrockets worldwide, governments need to develop mental health care initiatives, said Jim Yong Kim, president of the World Bank. ‘Despite hundreds of millions of people around the world living with mental disorders, mental health has remained in the shadows,’ Kim said in a press release. ‘This is not just a public health issue — it’s a development issue’…” (Horn, 4/12).

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