Individual and national financial impacts of informal caring for people with mental illness in Australia, projected to 2030

Deborah Schofield, Melanie J. B. Zeppel, Robert Tanton, Jacob Lennert Veerman, Simon J Kelly, Megan E. Passey, Rupendra N. Shrestha

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    Abstract

    Background: Mental illness has a significant impact not only on patients, but also on their carers' capacity to work.

    Aims: To estimate the costs associated with lost labour force participation due to the provision of informal care for people with mental illness in Australia, such as income loss for carers and lost tax revenue and increased welfare payments for government, from 2015 to 2030.

    Method: The output data of a microsimulation model Care&WorkMOD were analysed to project the financial costs of informal care for people with mental illness, from 2015 to 2030. Care&WorkMOD is a population-representative microsimulation model of the Australian population aged between 15 and 64 years, built using the Australian Bureau of Statistics Surveys of Disability, Ageing and Carers data and the data from other population-representative microsimulation models.

    Results: The total annual national loss of income for all carers due to caring for someone with mental illness was projected to rise from AU$451 million (£219.6 million) in 2015 to AU$645 million (£314 million) in 2030 in real terms. For the government, the total annual lost tax revenue was projected to rise from AU$121 million (£58.9 million) in 2015 to AU$170 million (£82.8 million) in 2030 and welfare payments to increase from AU$170 million (£82.8 million) to AU$220 million (£107 million) in 2030.

    Conclusions: The costs associated with lost labour force participation due to the provision of informal care for people with mental illness are projected to increase for both carers and government, with a widening income gap between informal carers and employed non-carers, putting carers at risk of increased inequality.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbere136
    Pages (from-to)1-6
    Number of pages6
    JournalBJPsych Open
    Volume8
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 18 Jul 2022

    Bibliographical note

    Copyright © The Author(s), 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. 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.

    Keywords

    • Carers
    • labour force participation
    • welfare payments
    • lost income
    • mental illness

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