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Health Economics: The Hidden Costs of Mental Illness

  • D. Richard MartiniEmail author
  • Tammer Attallah
Chapter

Abstract

Psychiatric illness is frequently complicated by challenges to adherence to the treatment plan. The care of patients suffering from mental disorders poses financial challenges for the individual, the family, and the community. However, focusing on direct costs alone is insufficient when considering the total financial burden of mental health disorders. These patients require accommodations in social support, education, housing, criminal justice, and social security systems. Chronic mental illness is frequently complicated by the presence of multiple diagnoses and the fact that these disorders progress and may become more disruptive. This is particularly true when the patient has comorbid physical illness, either as a preexisting condition or as a direct consequence of the psychiatric disorder. The size and scope of the economic impact of mental illness must be better understood in order to adequately allocate resources for patient treatment and support. In the course of treatment, the mental health professional should also consider the patient’s ability to function with autonomy and minimize the non-healthcare impact of the psychiatric disorder.

Keywords

Financial cost of mental illness Nonadherence Health economics Adherence to psychiatric care 

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Pediatric Psychiatry and Behavioral Health, Department of PediatricsUniversity of Utah School of MedicineSalt Lake CityUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral HealthPrimary Children’s HospitalSalt Lake CityUSA
  3. 3.Primary Children’s HospitalSalt Lake CityUSA

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