Mental illness to surpass healthcare costs

I love thumbing through Tweets, skimming research, statistics and findings. But some, like this one, shock and disturb me.

Foreign Affairs (@ForeignAffairs)

By 2030, mental illness will cost the world more than cancer, diabetes and respiratory diseases combined:

The current and projected economic burden that disease bears globally predicts that “the largest source of those tremendous future costs would be mental disorders, which the report forecast would account for more than a third of the global economic burden of non-communicable diseases by 2030.”[1]

Knowing that a quarter of the U.S. population will suffer from clinical depression at some point in their lives makes me thankful for Christian psychiatrists like my friend Dr. Karl Benzio. He founded and is executive director of Lighthouse Network, an addiction and mental-health counseling helpline.

1 in 4 in the U.S. will suffer from clinical depression at some point in their lives Click to Tweet

After the rattling depression-linked suicide of actor Robin Williams last year, Dr. Benzio tried to help shed light on the tragedy…

“Depression comes from the wounds and adversities that we have trouble processing and finding an answer to. When compounded by self-medicating substance abuse, the ticking time bomb can go off at any time. No one is immune to the devastation caused by the tentacles of depression. Robin Williams’ tragic death is a grim reminder of how complex behavioral health issues are to understand, live with and treat. We need reform and awareness, and we need to bring God back into the healing process. Nothing else is powerful enough to bring lasting healing and transformation.”

Mental illness is often the subject of criticism and debate. Many in the Church quibble over whether science and medicine or faith and the Bible are more effective approaches to treating mental health disorders.

Dr. Benzio believes the answer is both. The Christian way of life brings to the table characteristics and a source of strength that can battle everything from drug addiction and eating disorders to depression and suicidal thoughts. Without a doubt, coupling faith-based principles with treatment gives a greater chance for life to be restored. [3]

If someone you know suffers an injury or ailment, you tell them to go see a doctor. They are prescribed a course of treatment to return them to health. If someone you know suffers from a mental disorder, encourage them to do the same and reach out for help. It is available.

While I am saddened by what the economic statistics indicate about the state of our nation’s mental health, I am thankful that the people in my circle (I have a lot of 1 in 4’s) live in a time when help for mental illness is available—especially many wonderful Biblically-based options.



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Rob Hoskins is the president of OneHope. Since taking leadership of OneHope in 2004, he has continued to advance the vision of God’s Word. Every Child. by partnering with local churches to help reach more than 2 BILLION children and youth worldwide with a contextualized presentation of God’s Word.

One thought on “Mental illness to surpass healthcare costs

  1. Hey Rob, Great information and I thank God for giving you the courage as a Christian leader to speak out on this “messy” issue and not just stop at “more prayer and trust” as the antidote.
    Psychological understanding transforms Biblical knowledge into Biblical living. We all need that as everyone has idols of the heart, hence Commandments #1 and #2 which we all struggle with daily. The more we understand about how God wired us and how our mind works (psychiatric science) the better we can exercise our free will or decision-making skills to truly be a bright light in a dark world, sharing God’s healing power and message with so many in need.
    A few more stats about TODAY in the U.S.
    Addictions are the #1 killer in the U.S. in 2015!
    Suicide is the #3 killer in the U.S. in 2015!
    61% in the U.S. will suffer from a significant Behavioral Health (addiciton of mental health issue) issue in their lifetime.
    47% of the U.S. will suffer from an addiction THIS YEAR, and this doesn’t include caffeine (the most common chemical addiction) and pornography (the most common process addiction).
    May God continue to bless you and OneHope, but especially to allow your message of temporal healing open hearts around the world to the eternal healing. Jesus died for both healings, so let’s not stop at just the eternal healing, but strive for the one in this world as well.

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