This is an interesting question because the government of most countries do actually place a monetary value on health and, to them, the cost of treatment. We have all heard stories of this or that drug which seems life-saving, but sadly, is too expensive and so the individual has to go without it. This is national news. But these decisions are happening all the time. I was researching this more deeply and I came across a recent Australian research paper that puts a figure on how much an individual is willing to pay for a year of good health.
Based on data from 28,347 people in Australia a person is willing to pay for a Quality Adjusted life year (QUALY) (a year of good health) from between £23,000 and £37,000 (I have done the currency conversion from Australian dollars.
Also, an individual is prepared to pay £1112 for not having a long-term condition, almost like a health tax!
What fascinates me about this is how much money someone is willing to pay for a year of health. But then the old adage may hold true: without health nothing else matters.
Every human related problem has an associated financial cost, it’s really hard to find it though. But non of this addresses the human cost of the common problems like depression and anxiety. These are hidden with the person who suffers.
When we step back from the global/national level of financial cost of mental health problems I am struck by the ease with which I can find out what these cost the country but I find it much more difficult to find out what it costs the individual sufferer. In the end you are a statistic to government!
This is why I advocate taking responsibility for your own mental health and working to improve it to the point where you may forget to have a problem. Only you really matter to yourself. Don’t outsource your mental well-being.
Here is the link to the research in case you are interested.
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