ESCAP 2015 Madrid State of the Art lecture

Economics and mental health in children and adolescents

Jennifer Beecham

T3-03 – State of the Art Lecture, Tuesday June 23rd 2015.


Economics research in health and social care aims to ask how money can best be spent to improve the health and wellbeing. Evaluative techniques in the economics ‘toolkit’ can tell us how much a disorder may cost (given current levels of outcomes) now and in the future, how much it may cost to improve outcomes for a particular group of children and adolescents, and whether there are more cost-effective interventions than those currently provided. This is important information for policy-makers, commissioners and providers as they try to meet increasing needs for mental health treatment and support. Unfortunately, although the demand for such information is high, there is a limited supply. For example, there were just 64 papers with any mention of costs research published in English between 2005 and 2012. A few of these papers considered the costs of supporting and treating children with any mental health problems, the main part of the research literature centres around just three disorders; autism spectrum disorder (n=23), attention deficit disorder (n=15) and conduct disorder (n=7). This presentation will bring together what is currently known about the costs of child and adolescent mental health problems, and their prevention and treatment.

View or download the original presentation by Jennifer Beecham (pdf, 24 slides).
Read Jennifer Beecham's PSSRU BLOG about her experiences at the ESCAP 2015 Congress.
View or download Jennifer Beecham's review of progress in economic studies across different disorders (pdf, 19 pages)