Mental health statistics: prevention and early intervention

Despite the cost-effectiveness of preventing mental health problems in the long term, there are gaps in the research base on prevention of mental ill health.

  • A 2016 review of depression prevention¬†found that prevention programmes are associated with a reduction in depression diagnoses and depressive symptoms up to 12 months follow up when applied on an indicated basis. However, programmes delivered to universal populations were not found to be effective.1
  • In England, early interventions and home treatment for mental health problems can reduce hospital admissions, shorten hospital stays and require fewer high-cost intensive interventions. This can potentially result in a saving of up to ¬£38 million per year.2
  • Internet-based training for GPs in psychosomatic conditions (where physical symptoms have no known physical cause), and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for 50% of adults presenting with unexplained medical symptoms, can potentially bring a saving of ¬£639 million over three years, mainly due to reductions in sickness and absence from work.3

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  1. Hetrick, S.E., Cox, G.R., Witt, K.G., Bir, J.J., & Merry, S.N. (2016). Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), third-wave CBT and interpersonal therapy (IPT) based interventions for preventing depression in children and adolescents. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Issue 8., Art. no: CD003380. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD003380.pub4.
  2. The National Mental Health Development Unit. (2010). The Cost of Mental Ill Health. Retrieved from search?q=cache:0DVqRgcZHgIJ: pdf/at_download/file+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=uk [Accessed 02/07/16].
  3. Knapp, M., McDaid, D., & Parsonage, M. (2011). Mental Health Promotion and Mental Illness Prevention: The Economic Case. Retrieved from uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/215626/ dh_126386.pdf [Accessed 02/07/16].