Ten little-known facts about mental health

Written by Total Politics has a free weekly Friday email bulletin. Follow this link to register. on 4 May 2012 in Diary
Part of the stigma attached to mental health problems stems from a lack of understanding of what they can involve

450m people worldwide are estimated to have a mental health problem. Mental health disorders affect people around the world, regardless of age, ethnicity, gender or social class.

One in four British adults experience at least one diagnosable mental health problem in any one year and one in six experience this at any given time. These can include conditions such as depression, anxiety, paranoia, psychosis.

Depression is one of the most common types of mental health problem, and is ranked as the leading cause of disability worldwide. Symptoms of depression include sustained sadness and loss of interest along with various psychological, behavioural and physical problems.

Only about 20% of people with severe mental health problems and around 50% of those with less serious problems are in paid employment, yet 80% of people with diagnosed mental health disorders want to work.

The 2005 Disability Discrimination Act can legally protect someone whose mental illness has a substantial, adverse and long-term effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities from stigma.

Depression in ethnic minority groups has been found to be up to 60% higher than in the white population. In general, people from ethnic minority groups living in the UK are more likely to experience a poor service from their medical treatment and therefore are less likely to seek help in the future, which can lead to social exclusion and deterioration in their mental health.

One in ten children up to the age of 15 has a mental health disorder. Many mental health problems begin when people are young or are caused by events in a person’s childhood.

Only one in ten prisoners in the UK has no history of mental illness. As mental health problems are common within the prison population, the need for quality and appropriate healthcare in prison is essential. 

Those suffering from depression and other mental illnesses are more likely to self harm. Statistics show that the UK has one of the highest rates of self harm in Europe (400 people per 100,000).

UK men are more than three times as likely to commit suicide as women. This trend is in line with worldwide statistics.

Tags: TP mental health week

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