Mental health statistics and facts

These key facts and statistics about mental health problems can help to challenge the myths that can contribute to the stigma that many people still face.

  1. Welsh attitudes
  2. Mental health
  3. Mental health stigma
  4. Stigma at work
  5. Violence and mental illness
  6. Portrayals of mental health in TV dramas and soaps
  7. Research
  8. Other sources of information

 

1. Survey of public attitudes towards mental health, ORS on behalf of Time to Change Wales 2016

  • 1 in 10 believe that people with a mental illness can never fully recover.
  • 1 in 12 believe that as soon as a person shows signs of mental illness they should be hospitalised.
  • 1 in 10 people believe that people with mental health problems are less trustworthy than people without.
  • 1 in 7 people believe that people with mental health problems should not be allowed to hold public office.
  • 1 in 20 people believe that people with mental health problems should not be given any responsibility.
  • 1 in 20 people believe that people with mental health problems should not be allowed to have children.
  • 1 in 2 people believe that people with mental health problems are unpredictable.
  • 20% of respondents believe that the proportion of the population faced by mental health problems is 1 in 10 or lower.
  • 1 in 10 people said that being around someone with mental illness can make them feel uncomfortable.

 

1 in 20 people believe that people with mental health problems should not be allowed to have children.

 

2. Mental health

  • 1 in 4 people have a mental health problem. (Office for National Statistics, Psychiatric Morbidity (2007) )
  • The overall cost of mental health problems in Wales is an estimated £7.2 billion a year. (Mental Health Research Network (2009), Promoting mental health and preventing mental illness: the economic case for investment in Wales)
  • By 2020 mental ill health related problems will be second to heart disease as the leading contributor to the global burden of disease (World Health Organization)
  • 53% of Welsh women suffer from low level mental health problems. (Women Like Me, Supporting Wellbeing in Girls and Women, Platform 51,2011)
  • Self harm a significant problem in Wales, as a result there are 6,000 emergency admissions to hospital per year. (Talk to Me, Suicide and Self Harm reduction strategy for Wales, WAG, 2008)
  • 300 people die by suicide each year in Wales, 150,000 have thoughts of suicide. (Talk to Me, Suicide and Self Harm reduction strategy for Wales, WAG, 2008)
  • In 2010-11 there were 11,198 admissions (excluding place of safety detentions) to mental health facilities in Wales.  (Admission of Patients to Mental Health Facilities, 2010-11, Welsh Government, 2011)
  • The rate of suicide for men in Wales is higher than UK average. (Talk to Me, Suicide and Self Harm reduction strategy for Wales, WAG, 2008)

 

The overall cost of mental health problems in Wales is an estimated £7.2 billion a year.

 

3. Mental health stigma

  • 46% of people in Wales think that those who have experienced depression are unsuitable to work as primary school teachers. (Equality and Human Rights Commission Wales (2008), Who do you see? Living together in Wales)
  • 66% of people in Wales would not rent a room in a shared flat to someone with a mental health condition. (2010 YouGov poll commissioned by Time to Change)
  • Stigma prevents the take up of services in rural areas of Wales. (More Than a Number, Big Lottery (2008) )
  • Although a number of health conditions lead to stigmatisation, mental health problems are second only to HIV/AIDS in regards to discrimination and ostracisation. (Roeloffs, C., Sherbourne, C., Unutzer, J., Fink, A., Tang, L., & Wells, K.B. (2003) Stigma and depression among primary care patients. General Hospital Psychiatry 25, 3115)
  • The World Health Organisation and the World Psychiatric Association believe that stigma is one of the greatest challenges facing people with mental health problems. (World Health Organization (2001) Mental Health 2001—Mental health: new understanding, new hope. Geneva: World Health Organization. Sartorius, N. (1997) )

 

66% of people in Wales would not rent a room in a shared flat to someone with a mental health condition.

 

4. Stigma at work

  • 4 in 10 employees are afraid to disclose mental health problems to their employer. (Focus on Managing and Supporting Mental Health at Work, Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (2011) )
  • 1 in 10 who disclosed a mental health problem said colleagues made snide remarks, and 1 in 10 reported that colleagues avoided them. (Out of Work: A survey of the experiences of people with mental health problems within the workplace. Mental Health Foundation (2002) )
  • Less than a quarter of people with a long term mental health problem are employed, the lowest rate for any disability group. (Office of National Statistics, Labour Force Survey, 2003)
  • Only about 1 in 10 people in Psychiatric care has a job, and typically they earn two thirds of the average national hourly rate.  (Huxley P and Thornicroft G, Social Inclusion, Social Quality and Mental Illness. British Journal of Psychiatry pp 289-90, 2003)
  • 35% of adults with long term mental health conditions say they want to work (compared with 28% of those with other health problems).  (Office of National Statistics, Labour Force Survey, 2003)
  • People with mental health problems are at more than twice the risk of losing their jobs compared with the general population. (Mental Health and Social Exclusion Unit, London, 2004)
  • Fewer than 4 in 10 employers would consider hiring a person with a mental health problem, compared with more than 6 in 10 who would hire a person with a physical disability. (Mental Health and Social Exclusion Unit, London, 2004)
  • The Sainsbury Centre (2007) has estimated that impaired work efficiency (‘presenteeism’)due to mental ill health costs £15.1 billion, or £605 for every employee in the United Kingdom which is almost twice the estimated £8.4 billion annual cost of absenteeism. (Mental Health and Work, Royal College of Psychiatrists, 2008)
  • At any one time, one sixth of the working age population of Great Britain experience symptoms associated with mental ill health such as sleep problems, fatigue, irritability and worry that do not meet criteria for a diagnosis of a mental disorder but which can affect a person’s ability to function adequately (Office for National Statistics, 2001).  A further one sixth of the working age population have symptoms that by virtue of their nature, severity and duration do meet diagnostic criteria (Office for National Statistics, 2001). These common mental disorders would be treated should they come to the attention of a healthcare professional. The commonest of these disorders are depression, anxiety or a mix of the two.  (Mental Health and Work, Royal College of Psychiatrists, 2008)

 

At any one time, one sixth of the working age population of Great Britain experience symptoms associated with mental ill health.