New report measures economic loss of youth mental illness
2019-02-07 from globalnews.ca
TORONTO -- A new report suggests parents who miss work to help children suffering from anxiety cost the Ontario economy $421 million a year.
The report, released Wednesday by Children's Mental Health Ontario, looked at data collected in 2017.
"That's a huge loss to the economy," said Kim Moran, the CEO of the association representing Ontario's publicly-funded child and youth mental health centres. "That's a huge impact on families that are already struggling in Ontario."
The analysis, conducted by researchers at the University of Toronto's Canadian Centre for Health Economics, springs from work done by CMHO in 2017 that showed that one in four parents in the province reported missing work to care for a child with anxiety issues.
The latest report takes that data and quantifies its cost to the province's economy.
Adrian Rohit Dass, a University of Toronto researcher who co-authored the report, called the findings significant and said he hopes they prompt more study.
"The cost of care doesn't end in the doctor's office or the hospital," he said. "Our study shows that there are significant costs to families that should be considered as well. This is just one year."
Moran said the study's findings could understate the depth of the problem because they only capture children who struggle with anxiety and not a number of other mental health issues.
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