In the EU, about 165 million people are affected each year by mental disorders, mostly anxiety, mood, and substance use disorders , . Overall, more than 50% of the general population in middle‐ and high‐income countries will suffer from at least one mental disorder at some point in their lives. Mental disorders are therefore by no means limited to a small group of predisposed individuals but are a major public health problem with marked consequences for society. They are related to severe distress and functional impairment—these features are in fact mandatory diagnostic criteria—that can have dramatic consequences not only for those affected but also for their families and their social‐ and work‐related environments . In 2010, mental and substance use disorders constituted 10.4% of the global burden of disease and were the leading cause of years lived with disability among all disease groups , . Moreover, owing to demographic changes and longer life expectancy, the long‐term burden of mental disorders is even expected to increase .
In 2010, mental and substance use disorders constituted 10.4% of the global burden of disease and were the leading cause of years lived with disability among all disease groups.
These consequences are not limited to patients and their social environment—they affect the entire social fabric, particularly through economic costs. An adequate estimation of these costs is complex and, owing to incomplete data, difficult to undertake. Moreover, studies on economic costs vary considerably due to deficiencies in the definitions of disorders; populations or samples studied; sources of costs and service utilization; analytical framework; and incomplete cost categories because of lack of data and definitions . However, improved epidemiological and economic methods and models together with more complete epidemiological data during the past …
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