Thursday, April 21, 2011

Mental health early intervention projects offer 'outstanding value'

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An article posted on April 20th by Children & Young People Now:
Having early intervention psychosis teams work with young people experiencing their first episode of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder can save as much as £18 for every £1 spent.

By Joe Lepper

Taxpayers save £8 for every £1 spent on parenting programmes, according to the latest study into the value of early intervention mental health projects.

The study by the Department of Health, London School of Economics and Political Science, the Centre for Mental Health and Institute of Psychiatry found savings increased as the mental health support became more specialised.

It is estimated that £18 is saved for every £1 spent on deploying early intervention psychosis teams to work with young people experiencing their first episode of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.

Suicide training for GPs saves £44 and alcohol misuse schemes save £12 for every £1 spent.

Called Mental Health Promotion and Mental Illness Prevention: the Economic Case, the study puts the economic and social cost of mental health problems, through factors such as offending rates and benefit payments, at £105bn a year.

Care services minister Paul Burstow said: "Mental health is not a matter of them and us, it’s about all of us. At some point one in four of us will suffer a mental health problem.

"PCTs and GP Consortia should take a careful look at this study and use it to commission better mental health services."

The research team looked at 15 different mental health projects. Team leader Professor Martin Knapp said they all offer "outstandingly good value for money".

He added: "Most are low in cost and many become self-financing over time, saving public expenditure as well as radically improving the quality of people’s lives."

Also see:

What’s it worth now?

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