Mental Disorders Cost U.S. $200 Billion in Lost Wages
Major mental disorders cost the nation at least $193 billion annually in lost earnings alone, according to a study funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and published May 7 in the American Journal of Psychiatry.
The study analyzed data from the 2002 National Comorbidity Survey Replication, a nationally representative analysis of Americans ages 18 to 64. Using data from roughly 5,000 respondents, the researchers calculated the amount of earnings lost in the year prior to the survey among people with serious mental illness (SMI). SMI is a broad category of illnesses that includes mood and anxiety disorders that have seriously impaired a person's ability to function for at least 30 days as well as any mental disorder associated with life-threatening suicidal behaviors or repeated acts of violence.
Among respondents who had earned income during the previous year (86 percent), those with SMI reported earning significantly less--around $22,545--than respondents without SMI, who averaged $38,852. …