Mental health statistics: people seeking help

  • One adult in eight (12.1%) receives mental health treatment, with 10.4% receiving medication and 3% receiving psychological therapy. The overlap within the statistics is due to 1.3% of those receiving treatment reporting receiving both medication and psychological therapy.1
  • For those with common mental health problems, 36.2% reported receiving treatment. The proportion of people with a common mental health problem using mental health treatment has significantly increased. Around one person in four aged 16–74 with symptoms of a common mental health problem was receiving some kind of mental health treatment in 2000 (23.1%) and 2007 (24.4%). By 2014, this has increased to more than one in three (37.3%) (see chart below).2

Percentage of people with common mental health problems receiving treatment in 2000, 2007 and 2014

Treatment uptake by type of common mental health problem3

  • Depression: 59.4%
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder: 52.1%
  • Phobias: 51.6%
  • Generalised anxiety disorder: 48.2%
  • Common mental disorder, not otherwise specified: 24.7%
  • Panic disorder: 20.9%
  • It is estimated that 75% of people with mental health problems in England may not get access to the treatment they need.4

Treatment inequalities

Women are more likely than men to receive treatment for all mental health conditions, with 15% of women receiving treatment compared to 9% of men.5

Young people aged 16-24 were found to be less likely to receive mental health treatment than any other age group.6

White British people are more likely to receive mental health treatment (13.3%) compared to BAME groups (7%). The lowest percentage of people receiving treatment were those from black ethnic minority groups (6.2%).7

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References

  1. Lubian, K., Weich, S., Stansfeld, S., Bebbington, P., Brugha, T., Spiers, N., … & Cooper, C. (2016). Chapter 3: Mental health treatment and services. In S. McManus, P. Bebbington, R. Jenkins, & T. Brugha (Eds.), Mental health and wellbeing in England: Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey 2014. Leeds: NHS Digital.
  2. ibid
  3. ibid
  4. Department of Health. (2014). Annual Report of the Chief Medical Officer 2013, Public Mental Health Priorities: Investing in the Evidence. Retrieved from gov.uk/government/publications/chief-medical-officer-cmoannual-report-public-mental-health [Accessed 05/08/16].
  5. Lubian, K., Weich, S., Stansfeld, S., Bebbington, P., Brugha, T., Spiers, N., … & Cooper, C. (2016). Chapter 3: Mental health treatment and services. In S. McManus, P. Bebbington, R. Jenkins, & T. Brugha (Eds.), Mental health and wellbeing in England: Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey 2014. Leeds: NHS Digital.
  6. ibid
  7. ibid
  8. ibid