It is well known that mental health disorders cause substantial functional limitations and disability (Surgeon General, 1999). Less well known is the central role that mental health plays in economic disparities. The prevalence of depressive disorders is almost 3 times as high among individuals in the bottom 20% than among individuals in the top 20% of the income distribution, a much steeper gradient than for hypertension, heart disease, arthritis, chronic pain, or the number of medical problems (Sturm & Gresenz, 2002). In addition, individuals with mental disorders are less likely to have savings than individuals with physical health problems and the disparity widens with advancing age (Gresenz & Sturm, 2000).
Roan Gresenz, C. and Sturm, R. (2004), "MENTAL HEALTH AND EMPLOYMENT TRANSITIONS", Marcotte, D.E. and Wilcox, V. (Ed.) The Economics of Gender and Mental Illness (Research in Human Capital and Development, Vol. 15), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 95-108. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0194-3960(04)15006-3
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