Executive Summary

The Problem


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Mental health challenges are a growing concern for employers worldwide.

Increasing Prevalence

Global rates of depression and anxiety have increased 15 percent to 20 percent during the last decade.1

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Rising Costs

The World Economic Forum projects that mental health disorders will cost nations $16.3 trillion between 2011 and 2030, which represents a staggering loss in economic output.2 In the United States, approximately one in five adults (almost 45 million) has a mental disorder.3

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Depression alone is estimated to cost the American economy $210 billion annually, with 50 percent of that cost shouldered by employers.4

These costs are probably underestimated because roughly four in 10 adults with mental health disorders do not seek treatment.5


The American Heart Association CEO Roundtable (CEO Roundtable) commissioned this report to underscore the business imperative to employers for providing comprehensive, science-based support for employee mental health.


  1. GBD 2015 Disease and Injury Incidence and Prevalence Collaborators. (2016). Global, regional,
    and national incidence, prevalence, and years lived with disability for 310 diseases and
    injuries, 1990–2015: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015. The
    Lancet, 388(10053), 1545-1602. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(16)31678-6.
    Retrieved from https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(16)31678-6/fulltext#
  2. Bloom, D. E., Cafiero E.T., Jane-Llopis E., Abrahams-Gessel S., Bloo, L. R., Fathima S., . . . C., W. (2011). The Global Economic Burden of Noncommunicable Diseases. Retrieved from Geneva: http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_Harvard_HE_GlobalEconomicBurdenNonCommunicableDiseases_2011.pdf
  3. National Institute of Mental Health. (2017). Mental Illness Statistics. Retrieved from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/mental-illness.shtml
  4. Kessler, R. C. (2012). The Costs of Depression. Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 35(1), 1-14. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psc.2011.11.005. Retrieved from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0193953X11001134
  5. SAMHSA. (2016). Reports and Detailed Tables From the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). Retrieved from https://www.samhsa.gov/data/nsduh/reports-detailedtables-2016-NSDUH