Mental health issues costing Wales £7.2bn a year, report states

Mental health issues are costing the Welsh economy as much as £7.2 billion a year, a report has claimed. At present, the country spends some £6.1 billion on health and social care geared towards treating a range of mental health issues, including depression and anxiety.

However, according to a report from the All-Wales Mental Health Promotion Network, this figure is being more than offset by the true cost of mental illness, with billions of pounds being lost through absence from work and shortened life expectancies.

Notably, the report has stressed the importance of working to prevent mental health problems, rather than just treating them, urging the Welsh government to address the underlying problems of some of the most-pressing issues of the moment.

The Network’s chairman Professor Sir Mansel Aylward explained: “Depression has increased drastically and puts a huge burden on society – it is the single most important reason why people take time off work, why people go to see their doctor and it puts a huge pressure on secondary and tertiary care.”

This comes soon after the Welsh government launched a new pilot project aimed at providing mental health services to armed forced veterans in the country.