Mental Health Spending and Life Expectancy

Spending On Research

Despite the huge impact of mental ill health on individuals and the economy, mental health research receives only a fraction of the funding that supports research into other long-term chronic diseases.

Updated international comparison on research spending (2008-9)

 

Total budget £m

Mental health £m

Cancer £m

Cardiovascular disease £m

MRC (UK) 2008/9

£704.2

£24.4 (3.5%)

£103 (14.6%)

£22.1 (3.8%)

NIH (USA) 2009

$30,500

$1,279 (7.1%)

$5,629 (18.5%)

$2,008 (6.6%)

CIHR (Canada) 2008/9

$974

$70 (7.2%)

$138 (14.2%)

$101 (10.4%)

NHMRC (Australia) 2009

$707

$68 (9.6%)

$154 (21.9%)

$106 (15%)

-          Table in report showing funding by DALY and disease category is from 2008-9 (same as on website) (Mental Health Foundation & IOP report, 2010)

The Department of Health has highlighted some of the areas that need additional research funding but, as always, resources are limited. MHRUK addresses the gaps in existing funding by supporting mental health research.

Spending on Treatment

Despite the vast numbers of people affected by mental illness, far more money is spent on treatment for physical illness.

Did you know:

  • Over 1.25 million people used NHS specialist mental health services in 2009-10; an increase of 4% in the previous year which continues a rising trend[1]
  • Among people under the age of 65, nearly as much ill health is mental illness as all physical illnesses put together[2]
  • Mental illness and self-injury account for 22.8% of the UK’s disease burden, compared to 15.9% for cancer and 16.2% for cardiovascular disease[3]
  • Yet despite accounting for 22.8% of the total burden of disease, mental illness receives only 13% of NHS health expenditure[4]

[1] Mental Health Bulletin, Health and Social Care Information Centre, 2011.

[2] Kessler et al., (2005), "Lifetime Prevalence and Age-of-Onset Distributions of DSM-IV Disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication”, Archives of General Psychiatry 62: 593-602.

[3] WHO (2008) 'The Global Burden of Disease, 2004 update'; 'No health without mental health: a cross-government mental health outcomes strategy for people of all ages - impact assessment', Department of Health, 2 February 2011 (para.1.17) (DoH estimate based on WHO estimate of 29% for all neuro-psychiatric disorders, minus neuro-psychiatric disorders, but inclusive of self-reported injury.

[4] Unofficial estimates on p.6 of a report by the Centre for Economic Performance, 'How mental illness loses out in the NHS' (June 2012; pp.4-5), based on DoH  data (see para.1.17 of 'No health without mental health' (Feb 2011)) and the WHO 2004 update on The Global Burden of Disease (2008) and its Euro A country morbidity estimates.

Mental Health and Life Expectancy

Mental illness has a huge effect on life expectancy. The statistics are stark:

  • People with mental illness die on average 20 years younger.[1]
  • Nearly a third of all people with long-term physical conditions also have a mental health problem such as depression or anxiety.[2]
  • Mental illness has the same effect on life-expectancy as smoking, and more of an effect than obesity.[3]
  • Mental illness accounts for nearly as much morbidity as all physical illnesses put together.[4]
  • 16.7% of people in England who completed a 2007 household survey said that they had thought about committing suicide at some point in their life.[5]
  • Every year nearly 800,000 people commit suicide worldwide - 6,000 of them in the UK.[6]
Reproduced from How Mental Illness Loses Out In The NHS
The Centre for Economic Performance's Mental Health Policy Group

 
Reproduced from How Mental Illness Loses Out In The NHS
The Centre for Economic Performance's Mental Health Policy Group
 
 
Reproduced from Suicide Statistics Report 2011
WHO Mental Health factfile: Samaritans

 

[1] Brown, et al., (2010) 'Twenty-five year mortality of a community cohort with schizophrenia', British Journal of Psychiatry 196: 116-121; Parks, et al., (2006) Morbidity and Mortality in People with Serious Mental Illness, 13th technical report, Alexandria, Virginia: National Association of state Mental Health Program Directors.

[2] Naylor, C., M. Parsonage, D. McDaid, M. Knapp, M. Fossey and A. Galea (2012), 'Long-term conditions and mental health: The cost of co-morbidities', The King's Fund and Centre for Mental Health.

[3] Mykeltun at al, (2009), 'Levels of anxiety and depression as predictors of mortality: the HUNT study.' The British Journal of Psychiatry 195: 118-125.

[4] Kessler et al., (2005), 'Lifetime Prevalence and Age-of-Onset Distributions of DSM-IV Disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication', Archives of General Psychiatry 62: 593-602.

[5] Office for National Statistics, 'Adult Psychiatric Morbidity in England, 2007: A household survey', Chapter 4, p.71.

[6] WHO Mental Health factfile; Samaritans, 'Suicide Statistics Report 2011' (2009), p.9.