Mental health problems – more common than you might think
According to the mental health charity Mind, a quarter of us suffer with mental health problems each year. These problems range from stress, anxiety and depression to schizophrenia. Unfortunately 75% of people suffering from mental health problems go without treatment.
Furthermore it is estimated that by 2030, 8 million adults in the UK will suffer with a mental disorder or mental health problem. This represents a further 2 million more people suffering with mental health problems than today.
Child or adult, mental health problems can affect anyone at any time. It is a growing problem which still attracts such a comparatively small amount of the NHS health budget, estimated at approximately 13%. This may seem a reasonable amount until compared with the estimated £70-100 billion a year which mental illness costs the UK economy.
Organisations such as Mind and the Mental Health Foundation are continually campaigning to raise awareness of mental health issues. Last week marked the Mental Health Foundation’s 15th annual mental health awareness week. The topic this year was mindfulness, and how it can assist those suffering with mental health problems and generally improve mental and physical wellbeing. The awareness raising week was a success, with national news organisations highlighting the campaign.
Hopefully this will encourage greater openness about mental health issues. Only by understanding how common and devastating mental health problems can be, can we hope to tackle them and ensure those suffering feel confident enough to speak out and find the help they need. Sadly a staggering 87% of mental health service users say that they have experienced discrimination based on their mental health in the last 12 months.
The following online resources provide information and support:
Mike Bishop heads our Mental Health team here at David Gray Solicitors LLP. Mike is one of only two star individuals nationally for Mental Health law in Chambers Directory, and he was named Mental Health Lawyer of the Year by LAPG in 2012.