Essen Economics of Mental Health Workshop

The Essen Economics of Mental Health Workshop, organised by Christoph Kronenberg and Ansgar Wübker, took place on 24&25 June 2019 at the RWI in Essen. This workshop aims to gather (junior) researchers with an interest in applying the tools of economics to problems surrounding mental health. In particular, topics related to the life course of mental health, including informal care, access to health care and Alzheimer's disease, were discussed.

Half of those with a lifetime mental health problem first experience symptoms by the age of 14, and 75% before they reach their mid-twenties (Kessler et al., 2007). This implies that nearly one in five individuals has experienced the onset of a mental health problemby their mid-twenties. The conditions are often persistent and recurrent meaning they influence the entire work-life of the affected individuals (OECD, 2012). However, some older individuals may face a “double whammy” due to increased longevity, dementia and Alzheimer are a growing societal concern. The Alzheimer's Association (USA) reports that currently “someone in the United States develops Alzheimer's every 65 seconds. By mid-century, someone in the United States will develop the disease every 33 seconds.” Alzheimer's Association (USA) reports the societal costs to the USA from all dementias (including Alzheimer) to be $277billion in 2018 growing to $1.1 trillion by 2050. 

Keynotes were given by Christopher J. Ruhm (University of Virginia) and Fabrizio Mazzonna (Universitá della Svizzera Italiana)

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