Matthew is unable to hold a job. Now age 50, he continues to be addicted to drugs and alcohol as well as casual paid sex. He goes through anxiety attacks and depression a lot of the times. Indeed, his ongoing untreated mental state renders him incapable of economic productivity.
According to the latest 2016 WHO (World Health Organization) report, every dollar spent on better treatment of anxiety and depression produces a return of $4 in better health and ability to work. It states in clear terms that mental health disorders cost the global economy $1 trillion a year.
Mental health and economic productivity are closely interrelated. In the lives of individuals living in the shadows due to untreated psychological disorders, the costs of not seeking treatment are very much greater than looking for and going through treatment.
As the WHO report shows, this is not just a personal health issue. It’s also a global public health and development issue. It needs to be addressed adequately because the lost productivity is something we cannot afford.