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Thrive: The power of psychological therapy

by Richard Layard and David M Clark

“I'm incredulous that it's 2014 and in this seemingly evolved culture we live in we're trying to hide the mentally ill elephant in the room, even though it's draining the economy, and damaging the lives of one in five adults and one in ten of all children. This book brings into the light how deranged we all are in stigmatising such a prevalent disease. The fact that none of this information is discussed on a regular basis, publicised and subsequently dealt with, condemns us all to shame.” - Ruby Wax



In Britain today one in six of all adults suffers from depression or a crippling anxiety disorder. The same is true in the USA and in continental Europe. A third of families currently include someone who is mentally ill, yet fewer than one in three people suffering with mental health issues will receive treatment. This book sets out to tackle the moral injustice and personal misery with a call to action, a viable solution, and real hope.

Britain has come to lead the world in mental health policy thanks to the work of Richard Layard and David M. Clark. But the reality is that the majority of people who need help still aren't getting treatment because the most effective therapies are deemed too expensive.

This book argues that spending more money on helping people to recover - and stay well - would actually strengthen the economy. People who suffer with problems like anxiety and depression are predominantly of working age and allowing them to recover fully and support themselves would be of huge benefit to the economy, through savings in welfare and physical healthcare.


'Extremely easy and pleasurable to read. It's the most comprehensive, humane and generous study of mental illness that I've come across'
- Melvyn Bragg

'This book is an inspiring success story and a stirring call to further action. Its message is as compelling as it is important: the social costs of mental illness are terribly high and the costs of effective treatments are surprisingly low'
- Daniel Kahneman

'Remarkable - presents the issues in a style that is easy for the professional, the general public and policy makers to understand '
- Aaron T. Beck

'Professors Layard and Clark (the Dream Team of British Social Science) make a compelling case for a massive injection of resources into the treatment and prevention of mental illness. This is simply the best book on public policy and mental health ever written'
- Martin Seligman


Richard Layard is one of the world's leading labour economists, and in 2008 received the International Prize for Labour Economics. A member of the House of Lords, he has done much to raise the public profile of mental health. His 2005 book Happiness has been translated into 20 languages.

David M. Clark, Professor of Psychology at Oxford, is one of the world's leading experts on CBT, responsible for much progress in treatment methods. With Richard Layard, he was the main driver behind the UK's Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme.