Yesterday, global leaders, policy makers, industry professionals and academics called on countries around the world to do more to help the 350 million people suffering from depression. In particular they stressed the need for collaboration, urging healthcare systems, businesses and the general public to work together to fight depression.
The Global Crisis of Depression forum - organized by The Economist Events and sponsored by H. Lundbeck A/S - highlighted the global burden of depression, which is now the leading cause of disability worldwide. In Europe it accounts for more than 7% of premature mortality and now costs European governments more than €92 billion per year.
According to the OECD, mental disorders like depression cost OECD countries up to 4% of GDP, can double or triple the likelihood of being unemployed, increase drop-out from education, and impede treatment of physical health problems.
Approximately one in four citizens of working age in the EU have suffered from a form of mental illness including depression, placing a huge strain on economic productivity and society welfare. The personal and societal costs have also become significant, including higher health care costs for individuals and employers, family care giver burdens and serious complications for the patients themselves.
In order to improve mental health outcomes and reduce economic losses, it will be important to achieve broad collaboration in the fight against depression.