A review of the burden of disease for neurological mental health and substance use disorders in Australia

Mental health, substance use and neurological disorders account for one-fifth of Australia’s “burden of disease” – the number of years of healthy life lost – much higher than many other countries.

That statistic, from a new analysis by KPMG, illustrates the urgent need to find better solutions across the full spectrum of these closely related medical issues, especially as the growing number of older people means an escalation in the impact of dementias and other brain-related diseases of ageing.

In this context, Mindgardens Neuroscience Network, the alliance of medical and research organisations that commissioned the KPMG review, will develop responses that span the full spectrum of disorders that affect the brain and approach them from many different perspectives. Modelled on multidisciplinary cancer centres that are credited with having dramatically improved survival and quality of life for patients with malignancies, Mindgardens will bring together specialist hospital care with strong GP and community connections, integrated with technology, research and education.

The report also demonstrates the value of investing in innovation to address brain-related disorders, finding:

  • Exercise therapy for people with dementia can pay for itself four times over in terms of reduced health system costs.
  • Internet-based cognitive behaviour therapy for people with mental health issues saves twice what it costs, as people become more productive and need less health care.
  • Early intervention in psychosis can keep people out of hospital and repay its investment more than eight-fold in long-term follow-up.

DOWNLOAD: Mindgardens White Paper 15th March 2019

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