Jan. 21, 2022 – While companies struggle to find employees at a time of peak employment, a COVID-related mental health crisis is putting hundreds of thousands of people out of work and threatening to stunt the global economic recovery.  As the effects of the labor shortages grow increasingly profound, the global cost of addressing this mental health crisis is rising as well. According to a study published on Friday by medical journal The Lancet, mental disorders, which account for 18% of the global disease burden, are expected to rack up an annual bill of $6 trillion a year by 2030.

The increased cost of dealing with mental health issues, combined with lower worker turnout, impacts countries’ bottom lines. Official U.K. figurespublished by the country’s Office of National Statistics on Tuesday found 411,000 working-age Britons dropped out of the workforce between February 2020 and November 2021, with more than half of them leaving the employment pool due to mental-health-related “long-term sick”—now the single largest reason for inactivity in the workforce.


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