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How Better Mental Health Care Transforms Lives and Saves Money
Richard Layard & David M. Clark
With a foreword by Daniel Kahneman, author of Thinking, Fast and Slow

Hardcover | 2015 | $29.95 | £24.95 | ISBN: 9780691169637
392 pp. | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 | 16 halftones. 43 line illus. 22 tables.
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A Q&A with Richard Layard & David M. Clark

Mental illness is a leading cause of suffering in the modern world. In sheer numbers, it afflicts at least 20 percent of people in developed countries. It reduces life expectancy as much as smoking does, accounts for nearly half of all disability claims, is behind half of all worker sick days, and affects educational achievement and income. There are effective tools for alleviating mental illness, but most sufferers remain untreated or undertreated. What should be done to change this? In Thrive, Richard Layard and David Clark argue for fresh policy approaches to how we think about and deal with mental illness, and they explore effective solutions to its miseries and injustices.

Layard and Clark show that modern psychological therapies are highly effective and could potentially turn around the lives of millions of people at little or no cost. This is because treating psychological problems generates huge savings on physical health care, as well as massive economic savings through more people working. So psychological therapies would effectively pay for themselves, generating potential savings for nations the world over. Layard and Clark describe how various successful psychological treatments have been developed and explain what works best for whom. They also discuss how mental illness can be prevented through better schools and a better society, and the urgency of doing so.

Illustrating why we cannot afford to ignore the issue of mental illness, Thrive opens the door to new options and possibilities for one of the most serious problems facing us today.

Richard Layard is one of the world's leading labor economists and a member of the House of Lords. He is the author of Happiness: Lessons from a New Science (Penguin), which has been translated into twenty languages. David M. Clark is professor of psychology at the University of Oxford. Layard and Clark were the main drivers behind the UK's Improving Access to Psychological Therapies program.


"A compelling new book."--Martin Wolf, Financial Times

"One of the main obstacles preventing mental illness sufferers from receiving treatment is stigma. Thrive tries to dent this stigma by repeatedly trumpeting the prevalence of the disease while presenting a lodestar for radically improved mental health services that offer sufferers an indispensable ingredient for recovery: hope."--Brendan Daly, Sunday Business Post

"These champions of cognitive behavioral therapy have done more to turn mental health into practical politics than anyone before."--Polly Toynbee, Guardian

"It is hard to argue with their case that the failure to help those in mental distress is an injustice."--Ian Birrell, Observer

"If Layard and Clark are right, we seem at last to have found a gentle, nondisruptive and apparently risk-free way of dealing with the worst and most commonplace miseries of the mind. Let's do it."--Bryan Appleyard, Sunday Times

"The argument for change posited by Layard and his co-author . . . is a strong one."--Chris Blackhurst, Independent

"Layard and Clark have written a book that we all need to read, take careful notes on and, where possible, commit to memory."--Charlotte Pennington, Psychologist

"Layard and Clark . . . hit us with staggering statistics throughout the book, which is comprehensive yet accessible to readers without a background in psychology or psychiatry . . . Economist Richard Layard and clinical psychologist David M. Clark satisfy our craving for data, giving readers hard facts backed by years of research on one of the most neglected areas of medicine."--Resham Gellatly and Aaron T. Beck, Journal of Psychiatric Practice

"This book is nothing less than a sledgehammer to crack open the resting place of the Holy Grail: the Holy Grail of universal human happiness."--Roger Jones, British Journal of General Practice

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Table of Contents:

Foreword by Daniel Kahneman ix
Preface xv
Part One: The Problem 1
1. What’s the Problem? 3
2. What Is Mental Illness? 17
3. How Many Suffer? 39
4. Do They Get Help? 53
5. How Does It Affect People’s Lives? 65
6. The Economic Cost 83
7. What Causes Mental Illness? 93
Part Two: What Can Be Done? 115
8. Does Therapy Work? 117
9. How Therapies Are Developed 133
10. What Works for Whom? 153
11. Can We Aff ord More Therapy? 181
12. Improving Access to Psychological Therapies 193
13. What Works for Young People? 219
14. Can We Prevent Mental Illness? 229
15. Would a Better Culture Help? 245
16. Stop This Pain 259
Our Thanks 267
Sources of Tables and Diagrams 271
List of Annexes 275
Notes 277
References 319
Index 367

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