Mental Illness/Emotional Problems

The Prevalence and the Cost
  • David Upton


The cost of mental illness/emotional problems is both calculable and incalculable. We cannot affix a cost to the plight of millions of Americans who suffer from mental illness/emotional problems. We can, however, state how much it costs to care for these Americans. In terms of health and of cost, mental illness/emotional problems are probably the single greatest health problem of the American people. The Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Administration (ADAMHA) reports in its National Data Book (1980)3 that in 1978 national health expenditures were estimated to be $192.4 billion, representing 9.1% of the gross national product. Of this total, it was estimated that approximately $19 billion, or 9%, were expended for direct care (evaluation and treatment) of the “mentally ill.”


Mental Health Mental Health Care Direct Care Veteran Administration Clinic Community Mental Health 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Upton
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Fort BelvoirUnited States Army Mental Health ClinicUSA
  2. 2.Los Angeles County Community Mental Health Center SystemsUSA

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