Shocking new data reveals a third of Britons silently suffer from mental health every day
The deepening mental health crisis in Britain means that 20 million people suffer in silence every day. Alarming statistics show that a third of adults do not take the time to talk about their problems. A quarter worry they will be judged if they open up, while a third think more accessible mental health support services will help.
The harsh findings from mental health charity Mind came on ‘Time to Talk’ Day, nearly three years after the UK went into lockdown.
CEO Sarah Hughes said: “We know that talking about our mental health can help us feel less alone, more able to cope and encourage us to seek support if we need it.
“However, our study found that nearly a quarter of us are not because we worry we will face stigma.”
The mental health emergency sweeping the UK is causing one in five adults to suffer from depression.
Likely mental illness among children has risen sharply to one in six, while three out of five people worsened while waiting for help, and four percent said they had tried to kill themselves.
Mind wants a 10-year intergovernmental mental health strategy.
Experts say that without immediate action, the perfect storm of the Covid pandemic, cost-of-living crisis and weakened economy will worsen the bleak picture.
The crisis prompted Express to launch our By Your Side campaign to fight for better mental health care to reduce waiting times and suicide rates.
Currently, about 1.6 million people are on the mental health waiting list, and another eight million cannot get help.
Over 5,000 suicides have been reported in England in 2021.
Suicide is the leading cause of death for men under 50, and about three-quarters of deaths occur each year in men. Every 90 minutes someone takes their own life in Britain.
Mind said while two-fifths of people say it’s important to talk about mental health, 33 percent never find a place or time to talk about it.
The NHS aims to ensure that more than 35% of young people in need of support have access to services.
But as more children and young people develop mental health problems, services are drowning in demand, thousands are on waiting lists, and their mental health is deteriorating.
Therapy has given me a safe place to be vulnerable.
As with mental health in general, there is still a lot of stigma around therapy, writes activist Rohan Kallicharan.
This word can cause feelings of shame, embarrassment and fear, but this should not be. Therapy is a brilliant tool for taking care of our mental wellbeing and has played a significant role in rebuilding my life.
Being able to open up and be vulnerable just to talk is so inspiring when we’re in trouble.
Therapy has given me a safe space to do just that. In addition to being listened to, therapy allowed me to challenge my thinking.
I am more aware of myself and can understand the triggers of my anxiety, depression or manic state.
Through therapy, I was able to understand extreme behavior that can sometimes be the cause of mental illness, in my case bipolar 1. In doing so, I was able to look in the mirror with love and compassion instead of fear. .
COMMENTARY BY SARAH HUGHES
We know that talking about our mental health can help us feel less alone, more able to cope, and encourage us to seek support if we need it.
However, our study for Time to Talk Day found that nearly a quarter of us don’t talk about our mental health because we worry we’ll be judged or stigmatized.
That’s why it’s important that we always encourage and support people to talk openly about their mental health and take the time to listen.
Some people might think that therapy is more of an extreme option, and that if things don’t get bad, you should try to manage on your own. But it’s okay to try therapy at any point in your life, regardless of your background.
For some people, support from a therapist when they are not in a crisis can make it easier to think about what is going on, and for some of us, it can help keep us from getting worse.
Talk therapy does not work for everyone, and we know that eight million people are currently waiting for psychiatric treatment. Even when people can access therapy through the NHS, it is often limited in time, meaning that even if the sessions are helpful, they are not always as effective as they could be.
A year ago, we were promised a full 10-year intergovernmental mental health plan. It was supposed to address the scope of the problem by addressing all sections of health and laying out a vision for the future.
More than 28,000 people responded to the government’s request for the necessary evidence – all their work cannot be wasted.
We need bold plans to prevent the deterioration of mental health, especially among young people, the poor and those in racist communities.
Unfortunately, while we are still waiting for the details of the Major States Strategy, this overall plan is unlikely to achieve this.
Sarah Hughes – Executive Director of Mind
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