Response to the NHS report on the rise of hospital admissions for stress

Release Date: 11 September 2012

Source: Mental Health Foundation

Country: United Kingdom

Dr Andrew McCulloch, Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation, responds to the NHS Health and Information Centre’s report claiming that hospital admissions for stress rise by seven per cent in 12 months:

“The findings of this report are alarming.

Concerns about money and debt place huge pressure on people’s mental wellbeing, so it is not surprising if stress and anxiety rise in times of economic crisis.
This is particularly worrying at a time where the recession itself is impacting on resources through cuts in local authority social care and restrictions on NHS funding.

We know that the outcomes of recessions – rising debt, unemployment and insecure housing – are associated with poorer mental health in individuals and poorer mental health is often linked to poorer physical health. Sustained periods of stress, anxiety and depression can lead to an increased risk of diabetes, stroke and cardiovascular disease. So what can we do in this ‘time of austerity’ to reduce the impact of debt on the nation’s mental health?

Admitting people to hospital for stress is usually an expensive solution to a problem that should have been solved earlier in a primary care or workplace setting. We must invest in less costly, more effective early intervention services for people experiencing such stress instead of waiting for people’s distress and symptoms to require a hospital admission.”