High levels of mental ill health is costing London more than £26bn per year in treatment, lost productivity and costs to education services and the criminal justice system.
The figure is revealed in a new City Hall report launched today by Deputy Mayor of London, Victoria Borwick.
The Invisible Costs of Mental Ill Health study estimates that one in four Londoners experience a mental health condition in any given year, with a third of these experiencing two or more conditions at once.
£7.5 billion is spent on health and social care, benefits to support suffers and costs to education services and the criminal justice system.
However today’s report says the true cost to the capital is far higher when issues such as reduced quality of life and productivity are taken into account.
London’s businesses are estimated to lose almost £1 billion each year through absence, with a further £1.9 billion lost to reduced productivity.
Deputy Mayor Borwick said: “This timely report reveals how far-reaching the effects of mental ill health are, not just on individuals and their loved ones, but on wider society and indeed the economy.
“It shows that this is not just an issue for health and social care professionals, but also for politicians and business leaders. It is vital that we work together to support people living with mental ill health and to mitigate the wider impacts which are so costly to London’s economy.”
Professor Martin Knapp, Professor of Social Policy, London School of Economics, who was on the report’s working group, said: “The fact that mental health problems have enormous consequences is well known, but the findings in this report illustrate just what a pervasive impact they have on the capital’s population.
“£26 billion a year is far too high a price to the city, and much of it is because we are not addressing individual and social needs properly. Those costs will continue to rise if we do nothing. I want the findings of this report to spur the wider London community to help meet those needs.”
The report is available to download from www.london.gov.uk/mentalhealth.