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UK Mental Health Statistics

Posted on July 5, 2022

UK Mental Health Statistics

Mental health is something that we are talking more and more about as a society, and there is so much statistical evidence which highlights just how much of a problem it is in the UK.

The extent of mental health problems in the UK is wide, affecting millions of people.

This has serious implications for public health, and despite the high rate of diagnosis, the number of people accessing mental health treatment is not reflective of how many actually need it.

It is strongly recommended that those who struggle with any form of mental health problems reach out and access support. There are plenty of facilities and organisations in the UK designed to provide treatment and guidance, offering life-changing therapy.

What is the extent of mental health problems in the UK?

Mental health problems are widespread in the UK, and there is so much statistical evidence which demonstrates the extent of this.

A study published in 2007 found that around 1 in 4 people experience some form of mental health problem [1]. According to the Mental Health Foundation [2], just over 35% of men and 51% of women consider themselves to have a diagnosable mental health condition.

Every week in England [3]:

The prevalence of mental health conditions has increased over the last 30 years. Since 1993, the rate of diagnosis in the UK has increased by a fifth in both men and women [4]. Higher rates were recorded among those who don’t work and those of Black/Black British ethnicity.

Mental health problems also affect young people. In 2021, 1 in 6 children were identified as potentially having a mental health problem [5], and 83% of those who experience these issues said that the Coronavirus pandemic contributed to their problems [6].

What impacts does the UK’s mental health problem have?

While mental health issues are widespread, the really important information pertains to how these problems impact the health and wellbeing of the UK population.

Of course, one of the biggest and most heart-breaking impacts of poor mental health is suicide. In 2019, 5,691 suicides were recorded in England and Wales, a rate of 11 per every 100,000 people [7].

The rate was higher in men aged 45 to 49 (25.5 deaths per 100,000 people), and there has been an increase in recent years regarding the rate of those aged 25 and under. Females aged 10 to 24 reached a suicide rate of 3.1 per 100,000 in 2019, its highest ever [7].

Mental health’s implications on health are not limited solely to suicide. A study published by NatCen reported that the proportion of those aged between 17 and 74 who committed self-harm increased from 2.4% in 2000 to 6.4% in 2014 [8].

For context, the same report concluded that mental health problems were the biggest factors contributing to both this rate of self-harm and the rate of suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts.

Statistical evidence regarding UK mental health treatment

There are hundreds of facilities across the UK that provide support for those experiencing mental health conditions, and those who struggle are strongly recommended to get support. In spite of these facts, however, the rate of treatment is not as high as it should be.

In England, only 1 in 8 adults are getting treatment for their mental health problems [3]. While this does seem like a low rate, the proportion of those seeking help is increasing.

In 2021, around 2.8 million people (or 5% of the UK population) accessed NHS mental health services. Those most likely to do so were those aged under 19 and over 85, and women (5.1%) were more likely than men (4.7%) to speak to someone about their challenges [4].

Out of the 1.54 million people recorded to be in contact with mental health services by the end of January 2022, 367,128 were children or young people. A further 181,015 accessed learning disability or autism services [9].

How mental health support/treatment works in the UK

Those who face mental health problems or develop conditions are strongly encouraged to seek medical support. Across the country, there are hundreds of facilities and organisations waiting to offer their support, and they can do this in a number of ways.

For immediate relief from negative symptoms, many facilities can offer medications. These are, however, not the preferred option, but they are available for those who require immediate support or are a danger to themselves or others in the short term.

The first approach that medical professionals will prefer to start with is that of therapy, a form of treatment which puts individuals with therapists to help identify and work through the psychological problems that they are experiencing.

Poor mental health can be triggered by a large variety of things. Whether it is an individual’s genetics, upbringing, or social life, therapy looks to help them recognise the triggers of their problems, understand them better, and develop methods of coping with them.

A popular form of treatment is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), a method which focuses on drawing out an individual’s harmful thought processes and working out where they come from and what impact they have on mental health.

From this point of understanding, therapy sessions look to equip individuals with effective management strategies so that they can improve their quality of life going forward. Rather than ‘curing’ people, treatment looks to improve their ability to live with their obstacles.

Such coping mechanisms can include frequent exercise, mindfulness, and breathing techniques.

Getting help with Rehab Recovery

The statistical evidence regarding mental health in the UK serves to highlight just how important it is that those who struggle need to seek out help and receive professional treatment.

At Rehab Recovery, however, we understand that reaching out is not such an easy thing to do. Contacting someone and opening up about very private thoughts and feelings can be a daunting, terrifying thing to consider, and that’s why we are on hand to help.

If you need advice, support, or answers to your most pressing questions, don’t hesitate to reach out and give us a call on 0800 088 66 86.











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