Scaling-up treatment of depression and anxiety: a global return on investment analysis

Depression and anxiety disorders are highly prevalent and disabling disorders, which result not only in an enormous amount of human misery and lost health, but also lost economic output. Here we propose a global investment case for a scaled-up response to the public health and economic burden of depression and anxiety disorders.

In this global return on investment analysis, we used the mental health module of the OneHealth tool to calculate treatment costs and health outcomes in 36 countries between 2016 and 2030. We assumed a linear increase in treatment coverage. We factored in a modest improvement of 5% in both the ability to work and productivity at work as a result of treatment, subsequently mapped to the prevailing rates of labour participation and gross domestic product (GDP) per worker in each country.

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