The economic cost of mental illness
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In the current geopolitical environment, in which funding has dramatically diminished for many social service programs, policymakers and social workers have a significant challenge to advocate for social welfare policies, interventions, and treatments that are both cost effective and have the best outcomes. In order to advocate effectively, it is crucial to understand the components that contribute to the cost of mental illness. Information regarding these costs, although they greatly affect policies and public mental health, are not readily represented in the social sciences. The objective of this dissertation is to describe methodological approaches, identify concepts within mental health economics, and address constructs in an attempt to introduce them to the social work field. This dissertation sought to explore and contribute new information to the literature on the direct and indirect economic cost of mental illness and the implications for the field of social work. It will consist of three publishable quality articles that examine issues associated with the economic cost of mental illness. A conceptual paper examining various elements that contextualize the range of economic costs is first utilized. It identifies, defines, and describes the economic cost of mental illness, discusses the history and factors that influence this cost, examine the current state of research including theories and methodological approaches and limitations. Next, an analysis on the range of information technology surrounding mental health and related economic cost is presented. This dissertation article will identify, describe and analyze database sets utilized in economic evaluation. There are four database sets that are the focus of this article. This article will compare, contrast, and critique the datasets on their various components; applicability; and reliability in terms of the usage for economic valuation for planning and evaluation within social work research. Finally, a quantitative study is undertaken that examines how the economy can influence how patients with mental episodes are handled. This study aimed to examine the relationship between State Mental Health Agency expenditures and revenues and its impact on three types of psychiatric admissions: Voluntarily Admitted, Involuntarily Civilly Committed, and Involuntarily Criminally Committed.