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Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey paints a bleak picture of the mental health of the nation

Thursday, 29 September 2016 Mind

New figures published by NHS Digital (formerly the Health and Social Care Information Centre) estimate the prevalence of mental health problems across the country.

The Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey is published every seven years and is based on the results of a household survey in England.

Some of the key findings from this survey are:

  • One in five women (19 per cent) had reported symptoms of common mental health problems, such as depression and anxiety disorders
  • One in five adults (21 per cent) reported that they had thought of taking their own life at some point
  • One in four 16 to 24 year old women (26 per cent) surveyed has self-harmed, more than twice the rate in young men (10 per cent).
  • One in three adults (37 per cent) with common mental health problems were accessing mental health treatment, in 2014

Responding to these results, Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind, said:

“We welcome this new survey data by NHS Digital which provides a useful insight into the nation’s mental health. Nothing has improved when it comes to the prevalence of mental health problems in England. It’s also particularly concerning to see the amount of women experiencing common mental health problems, such as depression and anxiety, has risen. It’s shocking that a quarter of young women have been self-harming, and a fifth of adults have felt suicidal.

“It’s difficult to know the exact reasons behind these changes and they are likely to be due to a huge combination of factors. It’s also worth bearing in mind that this could be an indication that more people are coming forward if and when they are concerned about their own mental health, and that GPs and other health professionals are quickly recognising symptoms and prescribing relevant treatments and services where necessary.

“It’s good to see that the proportion of people accessing mental health services has increased to one in three adults, however this is only for those with common mental health problems. It’s still clear that nowhere near enough people are getting the support they need – in fact, more people than not are getting no treatment at all. We want to see everyone experiencing a mental health problem being able to access the treatments and services they need, when they need them. We still have a long way to go before our mental health is treated as equally important to our physical health. These data make it clear to the Government that when it comes to the nation’s mental health, the time to act is now.”


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