Microeconometric Analysis of Socioeconomic Inequity in Mental Healthcare

Funding Agency

Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Grant

Project period

2020-2023

Investigators

David Johnston, Michael Shields, Nicole Black, Anthony Harris, Dan Lubman, Martin Knapp

National Interest Test Statement

Resources for mental healthcare are distributed inequitably in Australia; across households and across neighbourhoods. The rate of disorders and need for care are highest among low income, non-employed Australians living in low socioeconomic status neighbourhoods, yet their rate of access to and treatment from healthcare professionals is relatively low. Better models of healthcare that improve outcomes, and reduce disparities for low socioeconomic status groups are required. The aim of this project is to provide the economic evidence base required to ensure these important system changes are appropriately targeted and cost effective. The project will produce nine large economic studies that explore the socioeconomic determinants of mental disorders and healthcare, and the economic effectiveness of existing Australian programs and policies. Ultimately, the research should aid in the design of policies that improve outcomes, including for our most vulnerable populations, increase efficiency, and provide greater value for government expenditure.