Special Interest Group - Economics of Mental Health

Mental health problems are a leading cause of disability, loss of wellbeing, and premature mortality. One in eight people worldwide live with a mental health condition, almost half of all Australians over 16 years of age will experience a mental illness during their life, around 1 in 5 experience mental health problems each year, and suicide is the fourth leading cause of death in 15-29 year-olds. These disorders affect the person’s thoughts, emotions, behaviour, relationships, and perceptions and include depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, psychosis, addiction, and developmental disorders. As well as the psychological effects, people with mental illness often experience wider issues, in areas such as relationships, employment, and physical health, with lower life expectancy mostly related to preventable physical health problems.

Aim: To bring together health economists working on issues in mental health including services, policy, outcomes, and determinants.

Objectives:

  • Build capacity in health economics addressing mental health
  • Raise the profile of health economists to contribute to policy and practice relating to mental health
  • Develop a mutually supportive and collaborative network of health economists involved in mental health research
  • Provide opportunities for mentoring and advice regarding issues specific to mental health and with a particular focus on early career academics and students
  • Conduct regular meetings of the SIG including network-building, member presentations of their own work, journal club style presentations, discussion of funding opportunities, Q&A.
  • Organised session/s for AHES 2023 (potentially separate sessions for preferences & mental health, evaluation of mental health interventions, econometric analysis in mental health).
  • Develop avenues for dissemination of members’ research to raise the profile to policymakers and other target audiences (e.g. newsletter, Twitter account).

If you would like to join the SIG, please email the conveners:

Jemimah Ride at jemimah.ride@monash.edu

Cathy Mihalopoulos at cathy.mihalopoulos@monash.edu

Conveners

Jemimah Ride
Jemimah Ride
Monash University

Jemimah is a medically qualified health economist and Senior Research Fellow at the Health Economics Group, Monash University. Her research uses health economic methods to address mental health and mental health care, including preferences for and distribution of care. Jemimah completed her PhD in health economics at Monash University and then worked at the Centre for Health Economics at the University of York in the UK and the Health Economics Unit at the University of Melbourne. Before her research career, Jemimah was a medical practitioner working in emergency medicine, and worked in mental health policy and public health at the Victorian Department of Health.

Cathy Mihalopoulos
Cathy Mihalopoulos
Monash University

Prof. Cathy Mihalopoulos has dual qualifications in Behavioural Science and Health Economics. She is the inaugural head of the Monash University Health
Economics Group within the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at Monash University. Prior to this appointment she was Chair and Head of
Deakin Health Economics at Deakin University. Her major field of research interest is the economics of mental health and psychosocial care, with a special
focus on economic evaluation. She has over 200 publications in this area and has been a named investigator on grants, tenders and consultancies
totalling over $70 million dollars. She has built many strong and ongoing research collaborations with both national and international researchers as
evidenced by both her grant and publication record. She is frequently invited to present keynote addresses at conferences, sit on advisory committees of national and international relevance and her research has been the recipient of numerous awards.

Prof Mihalopoulos has a broad range of expertise ranging from the conduct of economic evaluations alongside clinical trials, broad-based priority-setting
projects and methodological economic evaluation research, specifically around the measurement and valuation of health outcomes used in economic
evaluation. Within Monash University, she also leads Australia’s largest team of health economists specialising in the economics of mental health care consisting of 10 staff funded entirely on research income and postgraduate students.