Economics of Mental Illness: A Report to the Staff Director, Jack R. Ewalt, 1958

Economics of Mental Illness: A Report to the Staff Director, Jack R. Ewalt, 1958

Economics of Mental Illness: A Report to the Staff Director, Jack R. Ewalt, 1958

Economics of Mental Illness: A Report to the Staff Director, Jack R. Ewalt, 1958

Excerpt

THE ECONOMICS of mental illness is a broad area that includes a variety of interesting topics. The boundaries of the field are hazy and may be drawn wider or narrower. On the one hand, it can overlap into questions usually considered as falling in the sociological domain; on the other hand, it can include epidemiological research. In this study we shall limit ourselves to a subject which lies in the area traditionally reserved for economics, the subject of costs. The investigation will be concerned with the costs of mental illness and their implications. Although necessarily we shall allude to subjects outside this specific area, our chief interest will lie in the problem of costs--their meaning and their measurement.

It is certainly not necessary to justify the importance of such an investigation. Even without undertaking intensive study of the economics of mental illness we all know that it is an expensive malady. In 1953, the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce of the House of Representatives conducted a health inquiry on "the causes, control, and remedies of the principal diseases of mankind." Mental illness was one . . .

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