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Report: Depression Costs Society 1bn a Year

The costs of clinical depression to Finnish society are higher than previously thought -- about one billion euros annually, according to a report broadcast Thursday by YLE television's current affairs programme "Silminnäkijä" ("Eyewitness"). That figure includes the costs of disability pensions, sick leave, rehabilitation, medications and decline in productivity. In the past, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health have estimated the cost to be about half a billion annually. However its figures only included disability pensions and sick leave costs. Every year, about 200,000 people in Finland are diagnosed with clinical depression. The number of people granted early retirement because of depression has increased tenfold since 1985. The use of antidepressant drugs has also risen tenfold over the past two decades. They are now used by nearly 400,000 Finns, about seven percent of the population. Meanwhile, the number of suicides has dropped by about one third. It peaked around 1990 at about 1,500 a year. Over the last three years it has been about 1,000. YLE

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