Mental Health

Last edited 02/2022 and last reviewed 02/2022

Mental Health Key Facts:
  • 30-50% of Primary Care workload is mental health related (especially depression)
  • 70-80% of young men in prison/offenders have a mental health condition
  • patients with mental health conditions who remain untreated suffer a 15-25 years’ reduction in their life expectancy and poorer quality of life
  • Yorkshire and the Humber has a higher than average suicide level compared to other areas in the country and 78% of people who have completed suicide have seen their GP within a month prior to their death
  • mental health has the largest disease burden in the UK (22.8%) compared to cardiovascular disease (CVD) (16.2%) and cancer (15.9%) and yet there is a (perceived) lower focus on it

(Source: King's Fund)

The Mental Health Taskforce note (1):

  • one in four adults experiences at least one diagnosable mental health problem in any given year

  • half of all mental health problems have been established by the age of 14, rising to 75 per cent by age 24
    • one in ten children aged 5 - 16 has a diagnosable problem such as conduct disorder (6 per cent), anxiety disorder (3 per cent),attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) (2 per cent) or depression (2 percent)
    • children from low income families are at highest risk, three times that of those from the highest

  • one in five mothers suffers from depression, anxiety or in some cases psychosis during pregnancy or in the first year after childbirth

  • physical and mental health are closely linked - people with severe and prolonged mental illness are at risk of dying on average 15 to 20 years earlier than other people - one of the greatest health inequalities in England

  • suicide is rising, after many years of decline
    • suicide rates in England have increased steadily in recent years, peaking at 4,882 deaths in 2014
      • the rise is most marked amongst middle aged men
      • suicide is now the leading cause of death for men aged 15-49
      • men are three times more likely than women to take their own lives - they accounted for four out of five suicides in 2013
      • a quarter of people who took their own life had been in contact with a health professional,usually their GP, in the last week before they died. Most were in contact within a month before their death


  • NHS. The Five-year Forward View for Mental Health - a report from the independent Mental Health Taskforce to the NHS in England
    February 2016