The economic costs associated with poor mental health have increased from £28bn to £105.2bn a year, according to research.
The Centre for Mental Health calculated that the UK economy “loses” around £30bn a year because of work absence and unemployment linked to poor mental health, The Guardian newspaper reports.
The NHS and social care spend around £21bn every year treating psychological illness.
The authors of the research say however that most of the costs, a total of £53.6bn, of this health care are met by patients and their families, according to the newspaper, due to the impact on quality of life.
Bob Grove, joint chief executive of the Centre for Mental Health, said: “Mental ill health carries a heavy cost, especially for those who experience mental health problems and their families. It costs businesses more than £1,000 for every person they employ and has an impact on spending in every government department.”
“Mental ill health is a fact of life. Every day, one in six of us experiences mental ill health, while one in 100 has a severe mental illness.”
More must be done to treat and prevent mental illnesses, the report said.
However the government is intent on slashing mental health provision by taking away frontline services and closing NHS centres.
A survey of 500 GPs by the charity Rethink showed that one in three believe the massive cuts threaten mental health services the most; 58% say mental health provision is already under-resourced.
In just one example out of many, NHS Oxfordshire is slashing its fund for mental health services by £400,000 to £1.7m a year, as of April 2011.