The Economic Impact of Mental Health Stigma

  • Renee Romeo
  • Paul McCrone
  • Graham Thornicroft


Mental illness–related stigma has far-reaching economic effects on many life domains, including housing, religious activities, access to treatment and care, health-seeking behavior, and mortality. Well-designed and coordinated responses to these economic effects will have significant influences on the domains in an individual’s life and on their family members and others. Although a paucity of economic research exists in this area to assist decision makers, the evidence base is growing. In this chapter we introduce and describe a framework within which to examine the economic effects of stigma. We also present evidence from research on the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of interventions to combat stigma and discuss some of the gaps in our knowledge. We also include research-related recommendations, the results of which could feed into plans for commissioning services.



The authors acknowledge the contributions of Claire Henderson and Elizabeth Croker in writing this chapter. GT is supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care South London at the King’s College London Foundation Trust. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the National Health Service (NHS), the NIHR, or the Department of Health. GT acknowledges financial support from the Department of Health via the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre and Dementia Unit, awarded to South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust in partnership with King’s College London and King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. GT is supported by the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007–2013) Emerald project.


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© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.King’s Health Economics, Health Service and Population Research Department, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & NeuroscienceKing’s College LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.Centre for Global Mental Health, Health Service and Population Research Department, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & NeuroscienceKing’s College LondonLondonUK

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