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Mental Health investment case in Sri Lanka


RHC provides support to the World Health Organization-led United Nations Interagency Task Force on the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs) and the United Nations Development Programme in developing the mental health investment case in Sri Lanka.

Psychosis, depression, dementia, alcohol dependence and other MNS conditions are a subgroup of NCDs that together have severe consequences for public health in Sri Lanka.

Mental health conditions do not only lead to individual human suffering but also have social and economic implications. These include, among others, the increasing financial burden on the health systems and the loss of productivity among the workforce, as individuals who suffer from mental health conditions are more likely to leave the labour force (due to premature death or disability), miss days of work (absenteeism) or work at reduced capacity (presenteeism).

Mental health investment case provides quantification of the costs of mental health conditions to the health sector and to the national economy at large, and of the benefits of scaled up action. It includes a return on investment (ROI) analysis that compares the current costs of mental health conditions in the country with the estimated health and economic returns that implementing a set of cost-effective interventions (both scaled up treatment of mental health conditions and population-based preventive programmes) would have over a five, ten and twenty-year period.

The mental health investment case also will include an assessment of the current national mental health system, which enables to identify the most appropriate, feasible mechanisms for scaling-up mental health promotion, prevention and care in the country. The role of non-health sectors in contributing to the mental health agenda is emphasized throughout the process.

The mental health investment case is expected to serve as an advocacy tool, providing quantified evidence of the long term health, social and economic benefits of investment in mental health.

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