Friday, June 21, 2013

Mental health update

There have been various articles in the health pages over the past few days which go over some of the more salient points raised by the recently released Office for National Statistics report "Measuring National Wellbeing".

A couple of the most interesting statistics were those regarding mental health, with 'some indication of mild to moderate mental ill health' affecting

  • 23% of those who were out of work
  • 15% of those in employment
This is interesting for a number of reasons, not least of which is the fact that the number for those in work who are suffering from mental health issues is around the same as the figure that's already quoted by the mental health charity Mind to highlight the prevalence of stress, anxiety and depression within the workplace.

It's been well reported that stress levels have risen since the start of the economic downturn, and last year stress admissions at hospitals were reportedly up sharply year on year. Workplace stress is something that we can all help manage on individual terms as well as along organisational lines.

The ONS' figures may seem high, but one of the biggest advances in mental health has been the destigmatisation of mental health problems, meaning people are more likely to seek a diagnosis than they would have if the more supportive context wasn't there. On top of this, it's likely that diagnoses are more accurate than they would have been in previous generations. Many workplaces also provide counselling services operated by 3rd party services to help staff with issues they may be facing.

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