Fundamental Facts About Mental Health 2015

A comprehensive summary of mental health research, providing a unique handbook of key facts and figures, covering all key areas of mental health. Updated for World Mental Health Day in 2015.

For all the facts, download the full publication. Below are the top-line statistics.

The extent of mental health problems

  • One in four people in the UK will experience a mental health problem in any given year.
  • Mental health problems are one of the main causes of the burden of disease worldwide. In the UK, they are responsible for the largest burden of disease - 28% of the burden, compared to 16% each for cancer and heart disease.

The cost of mental health problems

  • Mental health services in the UK are overstretched, have long waiting times and, in some regions, lack specialist services. Despite this, public spending is focused almost entirely on coping with crisis, with only a significant investment in prevention. Mental health research receives only 5.5% (£115 million) of total UK health research spending.
  • Mental health problems constitute the largest single source of world economic burden, with an estimated global cost of £1.6 trillion - greater than cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease, cancer and diabetes on their own.
  • In the UK, the estimated costs of mental health problems are £70-100 billion each year and account for 4.5% of GDP.

Physical health and mental health

  • There are strong links between physical and mental health problems. Research has found that 30% of people with a long-term physical health problem also have a mental health problem and 46% of people with a mental health problem also had a long-term physical health problem.

Suicide

  • In 2013 there were 6,233 suicides recorded in the UK for people aged 15 and older. Of these, 78% were male and 22% were female.