Indirect costs of depression and other mental and behavioural disorders for Australia from 2015 to 2030

Deborah Schofield, Michelle Cunich, Rupendra Shrestha, Robert Tanton, Lennert Veerman, Simon Kelly, Megan Passey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
547 Downloads (Pure)


Background: The impact of mental disorders has been assessed in relation to longevity and quality of life; however, mental disorders also have an impact on productive life-years (PLYs).

Aims: To quantify the long-term costs of Australians aged 45-64 having lost PLYs because of mental disorders.

Method: The Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers 2003, 2009 formed the base population of Health&WealthMOD2030 - a microsimulation model integrating output from the Static Incomes Model, the Australian Population and Policy Simulation Model, the Treasury and the Australian Burden of Disease Study.

Results: For depression, individuals incurred a loss of AU$1062 million in income in 2015, projected to increase to AU$1539 million in 2030 (45% increase). The government is projected to incur costs comprising a 22% increase in social security payments and a 45% increase in lost taxes as a result of depression through its impact on PLYs.

Conclusions: Effectiveness of mental health programmes should be judged not only in terms of healthcare use but also quality of life and economic well-being.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere40
Number of pages7
JournalBJPsych Open
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 3 May 2019

Bibliographical note

Copyright The Royal College of Psychiatrists 2019. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • Mental and behavioural disorders
  • productive life-years (PLYs)
  • microsimulation model


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