See The Universe | Article

Mental Health Awareness Month 2018

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, so I am writing this blog post filled with statistics and some quotes from people who suffer from mental health conditions in order to raise awareness and better peoples understanding in regards to mental health. I thought I would start this post with a poem, written by myself... 

 

Looks Can be Deceiving:

When you look at me,
What do you see?
The smile, that does not reach my eyes?
Do you really see past all of these lies?

Each day I wear a big fake smile,
I play pretend for a little while.
I laugh, I joke, and work hard to fit in,
When I am fighting a battle that I cannot win. 

You only see what I allow you to see, 
But those memories you have are not really me.
For when you are not there and I am alone,
I sit and I cry in my dark, empty home.

You never truly know how a person may feel.
It is hard to determine, what is fake, what is real.
So treat everyone with love and always be kind
As you never know what is on someone's mind.

 

How Common Are Mental Health Problems?

  • 1 in 4 people in the UK experience a mental health problem each year with 1 in 6 people reporting a mental health problem each week. Despite the fact that the overall number of people with mental health problems has not changed significantly in recent years, the way in which people cope with their mental health conditions has worsened, with more people turning to self-harm and experiencing suicidal thoughts. 
  • Between 2014/2015, 103,840 service users spent time in a hospital, with the Mental Health Act being used over 58,000 times to detain people with severe mental health concerns, this is the highest increase seen in year-by-year reports.
  • In 2004, 1 in 10 children and young people (aged between 5-16), were reported to have a clinically diagnosed mental health disorder.
  • 615 million people suffer from depression and/or anxiety. 
  • 725,000 people in the UK alone, suffer from some form of eating disorder. 46% of Anorexia suffers and 45% of Bulimia sufferers, fully recover. 
  • 3 in 100 people are affected by PTSD. Some of the most common factors of this disorder are 1 in 2 female rape victims, 1 in 5 firefighters, 1 in 3 teenage car accident survivors and 2 in 3 prisoners. 
  • 1 in 100 people will experience schizophrenia (these figures increase if there are other family members who suffer from the illness)

These statistics show just how common various mental health conditions are. More common than you may have thought right? 

Here are some statistics which I personally found quite shocking:

  • 3 in 4 mental health problems begin during childhood.
  • 75% of young people who are suffering from their mental health problems are not receiving any form of treatment.
  • The average wait for effective treatment is 10 years!
  • Only 6% of health spending goes towards mental health conditions.
  • For every person affected by mental health problems, £8 is given to research... this is 22 times less than cancer research and 14 times less than dementia research.
  • There is less than 30% focus on young people and mental health.

These figures are shocking and also quite sad to some extent. Mental health is important and can be just as life-threatening as many physical health problems can, therefore there needs to be a higher level of focus in this area. Knowing that so many young people and children are suffering without receiving any help or support is just heartbreaking. Some reasons why they are not receiving help are the stigma surrounding mental health and also the lack of funding when it comes to young people's services. 

Another shocking discovery found whilst doing this research was that, out of those who have received support, 137,540 people (between 2014-2015) filed Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards applications. This was the highest number received since safeguards were introduced in 2009. Out of these, 62,645 applications were completed by the council and 52,125 were granted (83% of completed applications).

Some Quotes From People Who Experienced a Mental Illness:

'Like a never-ending dark tunnel'

'Very deliberating, you can't face the smallest of tasks. Going outside is painful'

'Always there, but when you suffer from a relapse, it can feel like you are drowning and hardly anyone notices'

'Like you are screaming in a crowded room but no one can hear you'

 

Mental health affects millions of people in the UK alone, it is a very important area of health and needs to be recognised as such by society as well as health professionals. Just within this short blog post, you can see just how much of an impact mental health can have on people. We need to take time to improve our understanding and knowledge about mental health so that we can decrease the stigma surrounding it and be able to spot the warning signs in our friends and loved ones and help people in the best way that we can.

Resources:

Mind Charity

Mental Health Network - Factsheet

Counselling Directory 

The Guardian - 12 statistics to get you thinking about mental health

 

Thank you for reading this post. If you would like to contribute to this post in any way, please contact me via our email address: contact@seetheuniverse.co.uk