Economics and Mental Health

Presented by ANU College of Business & Economics

Using economics to reform Australia's mental health system

Mental health is a major wellness and economic issue for Australia, with around half of all people experiencing concerns in that space. Sadly, many do not receive the treatment and support they need, which results in disruption of their work and education, relationship breakdowns, stigma, and loss of life satisfaction and opportunities. The annual economic cost of mental health and related illnesses is about A$50 billion, and when accounting for the additional loss of quality of life, the cost is equivalent to approximately 10 per cent of Australia's GDP.

Join us to hear about the Productivity Commission's final report of its inquiry into Australia's mental-health system, which was presented to the Federal Government in June 2020. The report takes a whole-of-system approach, considering services well beyond just the health system. It focuses on consumer-centred care, while turning an economic lens on the costs and benefits of alternative interventions to prevent mental ill-health and support those struggling with illness.

In this presentation, Dr Stephen King, one of the Commissioners on the inquiry, will outline the Commission's approach and the framework required to reform Australia's mental-health system.

About Our Speaker: 

Dr Stephen King is a Commissioner at the Australian Productivity Commission, the Australian Government's review and advisory body on microeconomic policy, regulation and other social and environmental issues. He presided on the Commission's recent review of Australia's mental-health system. Before joining the Commission in 2016, Stephen was a professor of economics at Monash University, a Member of the National Competition Council and a Member of the Economic Regulation Authority of WA. He was also Member of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission from 2004-09, where he chaired the mergers review committee.

Page owner: Alumni