Book section Open Access
Mental health is critical to the discussion of eHealth’s future, as mental health concerns contribute to the global non-communicable disease epidemic. The effects of mental ill-health have consequences not only for individual health and wellness but also for society’s wellbeing. Mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety and substance use, affect one in six Europeans and one in five Americans. The European Commission has identified mental health as a priority agenda item, not only because of mental ill health’s prevalence but also because of its costs. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) approximates the economic toll of mental health disorders in the European Union (EU) at €600 billion, a sum reflecting the steep costs of care, social benefits and loss of productivity. Mental health also carries high human costs; in 2015 alone, at least 84,000 EU citizens died from mental health-related causes.