The impact of mental health disorders is felt globally, with 1 billion people suffering from conditions such as anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, eating disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, borderline personality disorder, addictions, phobias, and self-harm conditions.
These conditions are the most significant cause of years of life lost due to ill health, disability or early death — higher than both cancer and cardiovascular disease.
As well as clearly being a bad thing in and of itself, the cost of mental health disorders on our economy is enormous and growing fast — projected to surge to $6 trillion by 2030, up from $2.6 trillion in 2010 — making mental disorders the most crucial cause of productivity loss among non-communicable diseases.
Beyond direct reimbursement costs, mental health challenges lead to increased absenteeism, reduced presenteeism, and in general huge effects on productivity. Given this rising burden, corporations are now seeking solutions to address this challenge and improve worker well-being.
But solving these challenges — a critical step to enabling the deployment of mental health interventions — requires gaining an unprecedented understanding of the interconnectedness of biology, psychology, neurology, and behavior that goes beyond the understanding that we have today – a significant technical and scientific challenge.