Top UK Mental Health Issues in 2012

September 22, 2012
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The UK-based Mind: For Better Mental Health is a mental health charity whose mission is to be there “to make sure anyone with a mental health problem has somewhere to turn for advice and support.”

The UK-based Mind: For Better Mental Health is a mental health charity whose mission is to be there “to make sure anyone with a mental health problem has somewhere to turn for advice and support.”

They have an information and advice section, helpline numbers to call, ideas of what to do if you’re in crisis, information on diagnoses and conditions and treatments, rights and legislation, mental health statistics (which of course I couldn’t pass up; more on that in one moment), communities and social groups, and money and mental health. They run a blog–and run campaigns. They’re a full-service mental health website, and quite impressive.

Not just an infographic junkie (the site more than satisfied today’s cravings), I also love statistics (that is, other people’s statistics. Ones I have to run myself will stay un-run until the cows come home.).

So here’s what mental health stats look like in England, according to Mind:

  • around 300 people out of 1,000 will experience mental health problems every year in Britain
  • 230 of these will visit a GP
  • 102 of these will be diagnosed as having a mental health problem
  • 24 of these will be referred to a specialist psychiatric service
  • 6 will become inpatients in psychiatric hospitals.

They share that around 1 in 20 people at any one time experience major or ‘clinical’ depression.

That’s a high rate, but, interestingly enough, lower than that of France or the U.S., who have the highest incidences of depression, according to a 2011 study sponsored by the World Health Organization.

The case is similar with bipolar disorder, where “Most studies give a lifetime prevalence of 1 per cent for bipolar disorder and equal prevalence rates for men and women” in the UK; the stat is 4.4% in the U.S.

None of that is to minimize the grave suffering of those with mental illness in the U.K.

Mind shared this illuminating infographic on the top mental health issues in the UK in 2012. On the other side, I’ll tell you what really caught my eye.

Anything jump out at you?

I was shocked to see that one in five people have been waiting over a year for talk therapy. Given what we know about the effectiveness of combined psychopharmacology and psychotherapy, I’d say that’s a pretty harmful fact.

And how’d you like the fact that 34% never had a choice in the treatment they’d been given? Now what could that even mean? Does that literally mean that medicine is prescribed without a person’s input, or a doctor is dedicated to a person’s case without any responsiveness from the patient? Tell me I’m mis-interpreting this one.

And a personal favorite: 6 in 10 employers don’t want an employee with a mental health problem. Given how many workers have mental health problems and are excellent employees, I’m not sure the surveyed bosses thought that through before answering. At least, that’s what I’m hoping.

Anything surprise you about the state of affairs in England as opposed to elsewhere?

Anything jump out at you as too bad to be true?

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