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Mental Health

The Mental Health Crisis in Britain Has Spilled Over into the Economy

— March 12, 2024

Lacking resources to address the crisis, the country is on the verge of facing a financial recession.

Despite its reputation as a country of individuals who hold their feelings close to the vest and don’t show much to the outside world, Britain has not been immune to the mental health crisis. In Britain, as around the rest of the globe, more and more people are struggling with mental health challenges at a wide range of ages. Not only is this a public health emergency that needs to be addressed, but it is also a major issue for the economy of the country. With fewer and fewer people willing or able to work because of their health, the workforce is shrinking and it’s difficult for Britain to keep up with the competition in a variety of areas. To get the economy back on track, it’s clear that addressing this mental health crisis is absolutely necessary.

A staggering number of people in a country the size of Britain have simply dropped out of the job market due to health reason. Roughly 2.8 million people are included in this category, and many of them are of traditional working age. Specifically, the mental health crisis has struck hard in the range of 16 – 34-year-olds, making the impact on the workforce and the overall economy even more notable.

Part of the problem is the overwhelming wait lists that are seen to access mental health facilities. Even when people do step up and acknowledge that they need help, that help might not be available anytime soon. There have been some government initiatives enacted with the aim of fighting back against the problem, but they are largely seen to be too modest in size and scope to make a meaningful dent in the issue at large.

The Mental Health Crisis in Britain Has Spilled Over into the Economy
Photo by rebcenter moscow from Pexels

Despite the obvious need to address the mental health crisis that is dragging down the economy in Britain, recent attempts to make a bigger impact on the problem have largely fallen on deaf ears. For example, the Outdated Mental Health Act was meant to provide help to those who need it most, but it wasn’t even taken up on the legislative agenda for consideration. Not only that, but significant public sector cuts have been taken in the aftermath of the pandemic, which has only worsened the situation.

If something isn’t done quickly to get people back into the kind of health condition that will allow them to work consistently moving forward, it seems likely that the economy of the whole country will slide into a recession. It’s true that there is an economic cost to providing mental health services to the general public, but it’s becoming obvious that the cost of not doing so is even greater.

First and foremost, mental health should be addressed because it is the right thing to do and because the people who are hurting need help on a human level. However, to make the economic case for investing in mental health across the country, authorities in Britain only need to examine the toll that this issue is taking on the economy as a whole to understand why this matter can’t be ignored or pushed off any longer.


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