Mental Health and the UK Economy
1 Executive summary
A substantial number of people in the UK suffer from a mental health illness\u2026
In 2006 there were nearly one million recipients of Incapacity Benefit due to mental and
behavioural disorders. This is 40% of total Incapacity Benefit recipients. This is similar to the total
number of unemployment benefits claims in the UK.
The annual average growth rate for mental and behavioural disorders claims since 2000 is 5.4%.
This compares to 0.8% for overall Incapacity Benefit claims.
The government has an aspiration to reduce Incapacity Benefits recipients, in total, by one million
over the next ten years. This implies, on a pro rata basis, a reduction of 400,000 Incapacity
Benefit recipients due to mental and behavioural disorders.
\u2026affecting people in work as well as those out of work
The self-reported health related illness survey showed over ten million working days were lost due
to stress, depression and anxiety. This is most prevalent in professional occupations and the
Spending on mental health services has grown significantly in the last 5 years\u2026.
Investment in mental health was nearly \u00a35 billion in 2005/06 and the real average annual growth
rate since 2001/02 has been 5.8%.
\u2026but the growth has lagged that of overall health spending over this period
Whilst this level of growth is above that of total government spending it has lagged someway
behind overall health spending, and the growth rate fell back significantly in the last year
There are concerns that not all reported investment ends up being spent on mental health
services; the high number of no star mental health trusts has been attributed to funding
Studies demonstrate that people suffering from a mental health illness can be supported to
gain or retain employment\u2026
There are some evaluation studies that point to an improved labour market performance following
increases in spending to tackle mental health problems.
\u2026the cost of this support may not be substantial
Some of the factors that are important for successful job retention and return to work for people
with a mental health problem are not necessarily expensive.
Our own statistical research supports the view that the costs of helping someone with a common
mental health problem to gain or retain a job may be as low as \u00a32,500.
However, given the range of illnesses that can be described as a mental health related illness, the
cost of support will vary enormously between individual cases.
The benefits to both the economy and Exchequer from supporting someone with a mental
health illness to gain or retain a job are significant
The value from a single person working for a full year, rather than claiming benefits is nearly
\u00a320,000 for the Exchequer and over \u00a333,000 for the economy. Over an average persons working