Tuesday 10th October 2017
This year’s World Mental Health Day comes at a time of great change in the world of mental health – with more people coming forward and openly discussing the once-shunned illnesses that affect so many of us.
Millions of us are impacted by mental illness each year, with new official data revealing that one in three work sickness notes handed out by GPs are now for mental health.
And as more of us are impacted by mental health, awareness around its issues has also risen recently. This has been assisted by high-profile interventions, such as those made by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.Prince Harry has also been very public about his support for mental health issues, previously speaking to The Telegraph’s Bryony Gordon about seeking counselling to help process his mother’s death.
One in four people are affected by a mental illness, according to the NHS, with the number of prescriptions being dispensed in England having doubled in the past decade.
In 2006 slightly more that 31 million anti-depressant prescriptions were dispensed, compared to 64.7 million in 2016 – the fourth highest number for any type of drug.
While this increase will not solely be driven by an increase in the number of people coming forward, these figures suggest that more people are seeking help for mental illnesses.
Almost eight in every 100 people in England are suffering from mixed anxiety and depression. Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a condition that impacts 4.4 in every 100, while 2.4 in every 100 have to battle phobias.