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Mental health cuts found costly

Yale Medicine Magazine, 1999 - Fall / 2000 - Winter


A reduction in mental health services at a large Connecticut corporation triggered an increase in medical-care use and sick leave, costing the company more money rather than less, according to a Yale study.

“This is the first study to show that there exists a point where reducing mental health dollars can be bad for both employees and employers,” said Robert Rosenheck, M.D., HS ’77, professor of psychiatry and public health, one of several authors of the study, which was published in the September/ October issue of the journal Health Affairs. “The company’s plan for saving money actually backfired,” said Rosenheck. “The savings the company realized by cutting mental health services were fully offset by increased use of other services and lost work days.”