Since 2000, 5 studies have been published that each purported to estimate aggregate national mental health costs in Canada. Each of these studies used a different method. Our aim was to compare the studies, and we created a framework for the different elements used to assess mental health costs (direct costs, indirect costs, transfer payments, and “human” costs). In addition, each study used different parameters (population covered, diagnosis) and cost components to estimate the economic impact of mental health. Our framework can help analysts to understand the purpose of different cost components. We conclude that to achieve a consensus on the magnitude of mental health costs, we need to use more standardized approaches.
Philip Jacobs, Francine Knoops, Alain Lesage
Canadian Journal of Community Mental Health, June 1, 2018