Mental illness is a big problem
More than 450 million people are suffering from a diagnosed mental condition. The impact on their lives and their kin is profound including premature mortality, unemployment and social stigma to only mention a few. Caring for these patients is costly as the process to diagnose and define a long-term care regime is long and sometimes complex. To be added to this is also the cost of hospitalization.
Further, there is the cost to society of unemployment, sick leave and early retirement. As an example, the cost of caring for the mental ill in the EU is 3-4 % of the GNP. In the US the same number is 148 bUSD.