Investing In Mental Health Critical To Sustaining Economic Growth, COVID-19 Response, Opinion Piece Says
Devex: Opinion: The critical need for finance to unlock better mental health
James Sale, health financing and governance advocate and policy, advocacy, and financing manager at United for Global Mental Health, and colleagues
“…The enormous human cost of mental health ought to itself galvanize government investment. But the unique economic costs — and potential benefit of investment — combined with the need to address the impact of COVID-19 on society, only strengthen the case for financing mental health. … To end the COVID-19 pandemic quickly and build systems more resilient to future public health emergencies, mental health needs to be placed at the center of national and global COVID-19 response plans and be properly funded … Regardless of a pandemic, mental health and economic performance are interlinked. … The current low levels of mental health resources and the potentially enormous positive impacts make mental health ripe for catalytic investment. To ensure sustainability and allow for a cross-governmental approach, this funding should come from domestic financing and, where needed, international donors such as the World Bank. … Scale-up and integration of mental health across government systems is urgently needed to accelerate economic growth. In addressing COVID-19, investment in mental health — and health in general — will be critical to return economies to sustainable growth” (10/15).