Investment in mental health not only saves lives but also protects those with mental illness from the catastrophic financial consequences of poor mental health. Yet for most people with mental illness, access to mental health services and treatment remains an aspiration, and not the reality (Ivbijaro Jun 2011).
According to The Global Economic Burden of Non-Communicable Diseases, Program on the Global Demography of Ageing, by 2030 mental illness is projected to cost the global community over US$6 Trillion (Bloom 2012).
Frighteningly this places the impact of mental health beyond that of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer. People who experience mental illness are known to be a much higher risk for morbidity and early mortality from physical health issues than the general population. Around 45 per cent of Australians between the ages of 16 and 85 experience a mental health condition at some point in their lifetime. In a given 12-month period, 20 per cent of Australians will have experienced a mental health condition (ABS 2007).