Mental illness is costing the UK economy £12bn a year

Welsh businesses have welcomed a new report from the London School of Economics’ Mental Health Policy Group which shows that anxiety and depression are costing the UK economy £12bn every year.

The report, which is supported by the Royal College of General Practitioners, also reveals that only a quarter of those suffering from mental illness are actually receiving any treatment. When treatment is given, the report claims, it is usually in the form of medication, rather than alternative methods such as talking therapies.

The authors have concluded that modern evidence-based psychological therapy is as effective as medication and is preferred by most patients. But it also warns of waiting lists of more than nine months for this particular type of treatment.

The report has called on the Government to radically improve psychological therapy services, arguing that with courses costing as little as £750, proper psychological therapy services would pay for themselves in terms of money saved on incapacity benefits.

Marion Kloep, reader in psychology at the University of Glamorgan, said that the medical profession and the working population must embrace therapy.

She said: “We don’t have enough therapists, we don’t have enough money to pay them, and GPs come from a different discipline- they don’t trust psychologists.”

Bill Walden-Jones, Chief Executive of Hafal said: “Psychological or talking therapies are not given the priority they deserve. The highest priority is to offer counselling or psychotherapy services to people with severe mental illness – including those in hospital. At present such people frequently do not have anybody available to discuss their problems with, let alone routine access to professional therapists.”

To view the report in full, go to