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Mental health in the UK - some figures

The report “Is mental health care improving”, published by The Health Foundation in 2015, analyses the quality of care services for people with mental health problems in the United Kingdom. 
According to the report, it is estimated that in 2007 in England there were around 10.2 million adults with a mental health problem, or 20% of the country’s population. The majority of them (6.1 million people) had common mental disorders – mild or moderate – such as depression or anxiety. 0.7% of the population suffered from personality disorders and 0.5% from psychotic problems. On the other hand, figures show that every year more than 2 million English citizens use mental health services, although most do not use the National Health Service (NHS).
The study by The Health Foundation shows that the services that deal with common mental health problems are better than they were before, and that although secondary care services (normally associated with serious mental disorders) are more numerous, they are still difficult to access. 
While in 2004, 10.1% of young people had a mental health problem, the report points out that this population had little information on the subject and few quality services to manage their disorders. 
In total, The Health Foundation estimates the cost of mental health treatment in the UK at £105 billion per year.

Improving access to psychiatric care

Most adults with common mental health problems, especially those suffering from depression or anxiety, are treated by primary care services at the National Health Service. The number of patients accessing psychological care services has increased over the past 10 years due to the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT). program.
The United Kingdom is making significant efforts to be able to support the entire population waiting for care. It is estimated that each year 900,000 new patients require initiation of treatment in the UK. 
According to the IAPT programme standards, the assumed waiting time for treatment is less than 28 days. However, according to surveys, 10% of patients report waiting up to 90 days for treatment. 
Regarding the recovery ratio, on average 44% of those treated reach their target (the target then set by the government was 50%).

The populations most concerned

The report “Is mental health care improving” distinguishes 3 types of populations particularly affected by psychiatric disorders and illnesses in the United Kingdom: adults with mild mental health problems, adults with severe mental health problems and children and adolescents. 
Adults with mild mental health problems :
Depression and anxiety account for the majority of the support needs of adults with mild mental health problems. In 2014, in the United Kingdom, there were 2.9 million people registered in general medical services with a diagnosis of depression (approx. 6.5% of adults). 
With regard to suicides, men between the ages of 45 and 59 are the population group at greatest risk, with a ratio of 25.1 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants. On the other hand, despite an increasing ratio of suicides, the number of people receiving treatment through secondary mental health services has decreased compared to previous years (reaching a level of 80.6 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants). From these data, it should be noted that the mortality rate of persons with serious mental health problems is 3.4 times higher than that of persons without mental health problems. The mortality rate of persons under 75 years of age is 383 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants, while the mortality rate of persons receiving secondary care services is 1,319 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants.
Adults with serious mental health problems :
In the United Kingdom, the number of adults with serious mental health problems who accessed secondary mental health care services increased by 156,000 between 2012 and 2014. 
Over the same period, referrals to community mental health centres increased by 13%. 
Despite this progress, it should be noted that for this population as well, a significant proportion of individuals do not receive treatment (e.g. 35% of people with psychotic disorders). 

Mental Disorders and Adolescents

There is little data available on Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), which serve children and adolescents, making analysis difficult. 
However, there are many cases of children and adolescents with mental health problems who have difficulty accessing treatment. In 2010 more than 75% of general practitioners said that they rarely had access to psychological therapies for their young patients (in 2004 only 25% of male children and 13% of male adolescents with mental health problems were receiving treatment). 
Despite these data, reports from health care providers show an increasing demand for CAMHS services (up to 20% increase for some services).
In terms of wait times for treatment, health providers report that in 2013 the average wait could be as long as 15 weeks; however, some parents and consumers reported waiting more than a year and described the situation as a “constant struggle”.