THE ROLE OF EFFECTIVE TREATMENT OF MENTAL ILLNESS IN THE FIGHT AGAINST POVERTY
Saffova S., Kotianova A., Jandova K., Basistova A., Clark DM., Slepecky M., Popelkova M., Sefarova I., Zatkova M., Prasko J.
In Slovakia, one in five people experiences mental disorder. Mental illness tends to start early in life, which makes it the most prevalent disease among people of working age. It accounts for a third of expenditures on disability benefits, increases unemployment and deepens poverty. There is a substantial gap in psychological care for patients who receive adequate treatment and those who need it, but do not get it. Provision of appropriate psychological therapy early on could prevent and reduce much of the negative impact of mental illness. The experiences from IAPT initiative in England where evidence based psychological therapies are made widely accessible can serve as a guide. IAPT initiative operates stepped care model with emphasis on starting with low intensity interventions. By using these principles, we can fill the gap between primary care and highly specialized treatment of mental disorders in Slovakia. Early psychological intervention can help people with depression, anxiety disorders and long-term psychological conditions to get well, improve quality of life and reduce unemployment and poverty.