Mental illness costs the Australian economy about $220 billion each year, a new report suggests.
The conservative estimate, included in the Productivity Commission's report into mental health, equates that cost to just above one-tenth of Australia's entire economic production in 2019.
It amounts to between $550 million and $600 million per day.
The report released on Monday includes 21 recommendations, including putting people at the centre of the mental health system.
It also says mental health professionals should be part of police communication centres, as people with mental illness are over-represented throughout the justice system.
Another recommendation focuses on improving housing and homelessness supports.
It calls on governments to commit to a nationally consistent policy of not letting people leave institutional care into homelessness.
The long-awaited report says the mental health of children and families should be a priority, with the pre-pandemic data showing almost one in five Australians experience mental illness in a given year.
It values improving people's quality of life at up $18 billion per year.
In additional, there would be an extra $1.3 billion from increased participation in the economy.
The Productivity Commission says $17 billion worth of the benefits (90 per cent) can be achieved by adopting the priority reforms, which would cost up to $2.4 billion a year.
Lifeline 13 11 14
beyondblue 1300 22 4636
Australian Associated Press
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.