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How mental health loses out in the NHS

A report by The Centre for Economic Performance’s Mental Health Policy Group

There is one massive inequality within the NHS: the way it treats mental illness as compared with physical illness. Here are six remarkable facts.

  • Among people under 65, nearly half of all ill health is mental illness
  • Mental illness is generally more debilitating than most chronic physical conditions.
  • Yet only a quarter of all those with mental illness are in treatment, compared with the vast majority of those with physical conditions.
  • More expenditure on the most common mental disorders would almost certainly cost the NHS nothing.
  • This is mainly because the costs of psychological therapy are low and recovery rates are high.
  • Effective mental health treatment can also generate other large savings to the government, for example by increasing employment or improving the behaviour of children.