HC Statistics Mental Illness Public Policy

The lifetime costs of serious mental illness

The the health and economic of serious mental illness (SMI) is often overlooked by the health policy and some provider communities. One key question is how how can we quantify the economic burden of SMI. Further, how can we reduce this burden. Much of my research has looked at how medications can improve health and reduce health care costs for patients with SMI (here, here, and here).

A recent publication in Health Affairs by Sebury et al. (2019), however, examines whether policies that could improve educational attainment among individuals with SMI could also reduce SMI’s economic burden. The authors use the Future Americans Model (FAM), a microsimulation
model using longitudinal data from PSID, HRS and other sources to project project health,
medical spending, social service use, and economic outcomes over time for individuals aged 25 years and older. The authors find the following:

We estimated that the per patient lifetime burden of SMI is $1.85 million. We also found that a policy intervention focused on improving the educational attainment of people with SMI reduces the average per person burden of SMI by $73,600 (4.0 percent)—a change driven primarily by higher lifetime earnings—or over $8.9 billion in reduced burden per cohort of SMI patients.


  1. Mental illness is just the state of mind of the person; but when that state of mind is not very stable then the consequences are fatal as the person is not able to control the mind or its actions due to various reasons, well the point here is that people who are close to the one who is mentally ill suffers in terms of medical expenses and to prevent that a insurance is helpful but still there are many who are not even able to afford an insurance. In situations like these it is better to try out organic remedy rather by taking costly medicines; among many organic products one is Shilajit, and it contains great healing power as it is used in many ways.

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