Annual Total Direct and Indirect Costs of Serious Mental Illness (2002)
The costs associated with mental illness stem from both the direct expenditures for mental health services and treatment (direct costs) and from expenditures and losses related to the disability caused by these disorders (indirect costs). Indirect costs include public expenditures for disability support and lost earnings among people with serious mental illness.
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) conservatively estimates the total costs associated with serious mental illness, those disorders that are severely debilitating and affect about 6 percent of the adult population, to be in excess of $300 billion per year. This estimate is based on 2002 data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the Social Security Administration, and findings from the NIMH-funded National Comorbidity Survey – Replication (NCS-R).