1st September 2017

Tool To Identify Cost-Effective Mental Health Programmes

Tool To Identify Cost-Effective Mental Health Programmes


On 30th August 2017, the Public Health England (PHE) has launched a new return on investment tool to help local public health teams identify what mental health initiatives are worth investing in across the life course.

The new Return on Investment tool was developed in partnership with the leading economists at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). It identifies cost-effective programmes proven to reduce the incidence and/or risk of mental health problems at all stages of life. Mental health problems represent the largest single cause of disability in the UK and cost the economy an estimated £105 billion a year.

Here are listed some of the initiatives the Return on Investment tool has identified. 

  • A whole school anti bullying programme where every £1 invested results in an estimated saving to society of £1.58 (over four years)
  • Collaborative care for physical health problems resulting in an estimated saving of £1.52 over two years for every £1 invested.
  • A workplace wellbeing programme where every £1 invested returns an estimated saving to society of £2.37 over one year.
  • Tackling loneliness in older people through volunteering and social activities, where every £1 invested results in an estimated saving to society of £1.26 over five years.

The chief Executive of PHE, Duncan Selbie said that the new tool will not only improve the quality of life of the individual but also provide economic benefits by reducing the financial burden of mental ill health.

PHE have to give equal attention to the prevention of mental ill health as well as treating it in order to provide a truly 21st century response to this important public health issue, he added.

The Health Minister Lord O’Shaughnessy said that improving the nation’s mental health is a government priority. The new tool will give public services the proof they need to guarantee spending on mental health is as cost effective as possible.

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