Here is a list of up to date statistics about a range of mental health topics. This list will be updated as key reports are released throughout the year.


Perceptions of mental ill health

  • Over a third of the public think people with a mental health issue are likely to be violent (1)
  • People with severe mental illness are more likely to be the victims, rather than the perpetrators, of violent crime (2–5)
  • People with mental ill health are more dangerous to themselves than to others: 80-90% of people who die by suicide are experiencing mental distress (6,7) 
  • Poor mental health impacts on individuals and their families, in lost income, lower educational attainment, quality of life and a much shorter life span (8-10)
References

The impact of mental ill health

  • 1 in 4 people experience mental health issues each year (1)
  • 792 million people are affected by mental health issues worldwide (2)
  • At any given time, 1 in 6 working-age adults have symptoms associated with mental ill health (3)
  • Mental illness is the second-largest source of burden of disease in England. Mental illnesses are more common, long-lasting and impactful than other health conditions (4)
  • Mental ill health is responsible for 72 million working days lost and costs £34.9 billion each year (5)
    Note: Different studies will estimate the cost of mental ill health in different ways. Other reputable research estimates this cost to be as high as £74–£99 billion (6)
  • The total cost of mental ill health in England is estimated at £105 billion per year (1)
  • People with a long-term mental health condition lose their jobs every year at around double the rate of those without a mental health condition. This equates to 300,000 people – the equivalent of the population of Newcastle or Belfast (6)
  • 75% of mental illness (excluding dementia) starts before age 18 (7,8)
    Note: Dementia is more accurately described as a progressive neurological disorder (a condition affecting the brain’s structure and subsequent function over time), and typically does not occur before the age of 30
  • Men aged 40-49 have the highest suicide rates in the UK (9)
  • 70-75% of people with diagnosable mental illness receive no treatment at all (7,10,11)

The impact of mental ill health in young people

  • Mental ill health is the second-largest cause of burden of disease in England (1)  
  • The economic costs of mental health issues in England have been estimated at £105 billion each year (2) 
  • In an average classroom, ten children will have witnessed their parents separate, eight will have experienced severe physical violence, sexual abuse or neglect, one will have experienced the death of a parent and seven will have been bullied (3) 
  • Half of mental ill health starts by age 15 and 75% develops by age 18 (4,5) 
  • 12.8% of young people aged 5-19 meet clinical criteria for a mental health disorder (6) 
  • Women between the ages of 16 and 24 are almost three times as likely (26%) to experience a common mental health issue as males of the same age (9%) (7) 
  • The percentage of young people aged 5-15 with depression or anxiety increased from 3.9% in 2004 to 5.8% in 2017 (6)  
  • About 20% of young people with mental ill health wait more than six months to receive care from a specialist (8)
  • In a 2018 OECD survey of 15-year-olds, the UK ranked 29th for life satisfaction, out of a total of 30 OECD countries (9) 
  • About 10% of young people aged 8-15 experience a low sense of wellbeing (10) 
    Note: This report also states that older age groups have poorer wellbeing than younger age groups
  • Only one in eight children who have been sexually abused come to the attention of statutory agencies (11) 
  • Up to 25% of teenagers have experienced physical violence in their intimate partner relationships (12-15) 
References

Disability rankings

These figures draw from a study by Salomon JA et al.: Disability weights for the Global Burden of Disease 2013.

In this research, the authors asked 60,890 participants from around the world which diseases, injuries and disorders they considered to be the most disabling. They then analysed the data to create a ‘disability weight’ for each condition. A disability weight is a number ranging from 0.0 to 1.0 which represents the severity of a disease, with larger numbers representing increasing severity/disability. The paper ranks 185 physical and mental health conditions from least to most disabling, including:

  • HIV/AIDS in treatment = 0.08
  • Mild depression = 0.15
  • Moderate epilepsy = 0.26
  • Moderate dementia = 0.38
  • Moderate depression = 0.40
  • Severe motor impairment = 0.40
  • Severe anxiety = 0.52
  • Severe stroke with long-term consequences = 0.55
  • Severe depression = 0.66
  • Untreated spinal cord lesion/injury = 0.73
  • Schizophrenia (acute) = 0.78
     

These types of studies help to determine how illness affects wellbeing and quality of life, particularly for conditions which are chronic and non-fatal. 

This study is part of a wider programme of research by the World Health Organization (2). You can find the most up to date version at who.int.

References

Mental ill health in the workplace

  • 1 in 6 workers will experience depression, anxiety or problems relating to stress at any one time (1)
  • There were 602,000 cases of work-related stress, depression or anxiety in 2018/19 in Great Britain (2)
  • In 2018/19, stress, depression or anxiety were responsible for 44% of all cases of work-related ill health and 54% of all working days lost due to health issues in GB (2)
  • 1 in 5 people take a day off due to stress. Yet, 90% of these people cited a different reason for their absence (3)
  • Presenteeism accounts for 2 times more losses than absences (4)
  • Every year it costs business £1,300 per employee whose mental health needs are unsupported (4)
  • Mental ill health is responsible for 72 million working days lost and costs £34.9 billion each year (4)
    Note: Different studies will estimate the cost of mental ill health in different ways. Other reputable research estimates this cost to be as high as £74–£99 billion (5)
  • People with a long-term mental health condition lose their jobs every year at around double the rate of those without a mental health condition. This equates to 300,000 people – the equivalent of the population of Newcastle or Belfast (5)
  • 9% of employees who disclosed mental health issues to their line manager reported being disciplined, dismissed or demoted (6)
    Note: The percentage of people reporting discipline, dismissal or demotion in the Business in the Community report has reduced over the last three years: it was 15% in 2017, 11% in 2018 and 9% in 2019.
  • 69% of UK line managers say that supporting employee wellbeing is a core skill, but only 13% have received mental health training. 35% of line managers reported a wish for basic training in common mental health conditions (6)
References

Mental ill health in LGBT+ and BAME communities 

  • People who identify as LGBT+ are more likely to have suicidal thoughts, and attempt suicide, than those who do not identify as LGBT+ (1–3) 
  • People who identify as LGBT+ are at increased risk of developing anxiety disorders (4,5) 
  • Self-harm is more common in ex-service personnel, young people, women, LGBT+ community, prisoners, asylum seekers, and people who have experienced physical, emotional or sexual abuse (6) 
  • Up to 16% of people who identify as LGBT+ experience symptoms of an eating disorder (7,8) 
  • Psychosis is more common among BAME groups (9–13) 
  • Mental health issues are more likely to affect young people who identify as LGBT+ than those who do not (8,14–17) 
  • Young people who identify as LGBT+ are more likely to report self-harming than young people who do not identify as LGBT+ (15,18) 
  • Young people from BAME and migrant backgrounds are more likely to show developmental difficulties associated with psychosis and develop psychotic disorders later in life (10,19) 
  • Symptoms of depression are more common and severe in young people who identify as LGBT+ than in those who do not identify as LGBT+ (15,17,18) 
  • Adolescents who identify as LGBT+ are at increased risk of anxiety disorders (20,21) 
  • 11% – 32% of young people who identify as LGBT+ have attempted suicide in their lifetime (8,18,22) 
  • Young people who identify as LGBT+ are more likely to show symptoms of eating disorders than those who do not identify as LGBT+ (8,16,23) 
  • People who identify as LGBT+ are at increased risk of both mental ill health and substance misuse (1,2,7) 
  • Ex-service personnel who identify as LGBT+ are more likely to have suicidal thoughts, and attempt suicide, than those who do not identify as LGBT+ (24) 
References

Mental ill health in the UK armed forces

  • 4,214 or 2.7% of UK armed forces personnel were assessed with a mental disorder in 2018/19 (1) 
  • In 2016/17, over 24,000 ex-service personnel used primary care NHS therapeutic services in England, a 15.4% increase on the previous year (2) 
    Note: Primary care services are those which can be accessed through a GP, or self-referral, and don’t require a specialist referral
  • NHS England spends £6.4 million per year on bespoke mental health services for ex-service personnel, in addition to the £11.4 billion spending on mental health for the general population (2) 
  • Stigma is a frequently reported barrier to help-seeking. Armed forces personnel fear differential treatment from unit leaders, being labelled ‘weak’ or ‘malingerers’, or becoming ‘non-deployable’ (3–5) 
    Note: A malingerer is defined as a person who pretends to be ill to avoid having to work
  • Up to 71% of military personnel who experience mental ill health don’t seek professional help (6,7) 
  • Although reported mental health issues doubled in the UK armed forces between 2005-2014, only 1 in 20 ex-service personnel experiencing symptoms of mental ill health sought help (8) 
  • 84% of ex-service personnel reporting psychological issues did not access professional help (8) 
  • 62% of males and 46% of females in the UK armed forces were identified as drinking hazardous amounts of alcohol (9) 
  • Service personnel are 2-5 times more likely to be dependent on alcohol than the general population (8,10,11) 
  • 1 in 10 ex-service personnel has an issue with alcohol misuse, equivalent to 270,000 people (8) 
  • Ex-service personnel with problematic alcohol intake are less likely to seek medical advice, and more likely to avoid seeking help due to stigma or self-stigma (8) 
    Note: More information about veterans’ reasons for not seeking help for alcohol-related issues can be found in (12)
  • Exposure to combat and traumatic events during service significantly increases the risk of violent offending (13,14) 
  • Ex-service personnel with mental health issues, particularly PTSD, often present with comorbid problems of anger and aggression (15) 
  • While the UK armed forces does not tolerate domestic violence, 3.6% report family violence and 7.8% report stranger violence immediately following return from deployment (16–18) 
  • Approximately 4% of the prison population in the UK are former members of the armed forces (19) 
  • In 2015 it became a requirement for all prisons to ask whether new inmates have served in the armed forces (20) 
  • On arrival into prison, ex-service personnel were as likely as the general prisoner population to report problems around issues such as alcohol (17%) and mental health (15%) (21) 
  • Ex-service personnel are more likely to report feeling depressed or suicidal on arrival into prison (18% compared to 14%) (21)  
  • Compared to those who have not served, ex-service personnel in the criminal justice system are more likely to present with anxiety disorders and hazardous drinking patterns, and less likely to present with schizophrenia and substance misuse (22) 
  • The annual suicide rate for the UK armed forces is significantly lower than the UK general population (23) 
  • Male suicide rates over the last 20 years are:
    • 10 per 100,000 in the Army 
    • 8 per 100,000 in the Naval service 
    • 5 per 100,000 in the RAF (23) 
  • In 2017, the suicide rate among males aged 16—59 years in the UK armed forces was 9 per 100,000, compared to 19 per 100,000 in the UK general population (23) 
  • The risk of suicide for men aged 24 or younger who have left the armed forces is between two and three times higher than for men the same age who haven’t served in the military (24) 
  • Suicide risk is associated with younger age at discharge, male gender, Army service, lower rank, not being married, and length of service of 4 years or less (24,25) 
  • Ex-service personnel who identify as LGBT+ are more likely to have suicidal thoughts, and attempt suicide, than those who do not identify as LGBT+ (26) 
  • 4.2% of serving personnel and 6.6% of ex-service personnel report ever having self-harmed, compared to 7.3% in the general population (11,27) 
  • Self-harm is more common in ex-service personnel, young people, women, LGBT+ community, prisoners, asylum seekers, and people who have experienced physical, emotional or sexual abuse (36) 
  • Reported rates of self-harm in the UK armed forces remain low at 3.1 per 1000 personnel in 2017/18 (28) 
  • Between 2010/11–2017/18, those at highest risk of self-harm in the UK forces were: Army personnel, females, non-officer ranks, personnel aged under 25 and untrained personnel (28) 
  • Between 2010/11 and 2017/18 there were more self-harm incidents in the Army than in the Navy or RAF (28) 
    Note: As measured by tests of statistical significance, Army personnel had significantly higher rates of self-harm than the other Services in each of the eight years between 2010/11 and 2017/18. There was no significant difference in rates between Naval Service and RAF personnel over the same time period (28)
  • Risk factors for self-harm reflect those of the general population – they are not deployment related (28,29)  
  • Using alcohol or drugs increases the risk of self-harm (30,31) 
  • People who identify as LGBT+ are at increased risk of developing anxiety disorders (32,33) 
  • The symptoms of adjustment disorder include: depressed mood, behaviour changes, outbursts of violence, anxiety, worry, feeling unable to cope, plan ahead, or continue in the present situation, and difficulty in day-to-day living (34–36) 
  • The symptoms of adjustment disorder arise gradually, within a month after a stressful event. They rarely lasts longer than six months (34,35) ​ 
  • Adjustment disorders accounted for 30% of all mental disorders in the armed forces in 2018/19 (1) 
  • Rates of adjustment disorders in the UK armed forces were significantly higher than for all other mental disorders between 2007/8 and 2015/16 (1) 
  • Higher rates in the armed forces vs the general population may reflect the impact of service life with routine postings and operational tours (1) 
  • In 2018/19, PTSD accounted for 7% of all mental disorders diagnosed in UK armed forces personnel, with the highest percentages in the Army and Royal Marines (1) 
  • In 2018/19, PTSD risk increased by 170% for service personnel previously deployed to Iraq and/or Afghanistan (1) 
  • Diagnosis of PTSD in the UK armed forces remained low at around 2 in 1000 personnel in 2018/19 (1) 
  • A study of 100 women caring for a partner with service-related PTSD found: 45% misused alcohol, 39% had depression, 37% had anxiety, and 17% showed symptoms of PTSD (37) 
References

Mental ill health in higher education students

  • 34% of students report having psychological difficulties for which they needed professional help (1) 
  • In 2016/17, 95 higher education students died by suicide in England and Wales (2) 
  • Note: This number is based on a new report from the Office for National Statistics, which is developing new methods of identifying and reporting on suicide deaths in students enrolled in higher education institutions. In comparison to previous reports, this report uses stricter criteria to define who is a HE student. Current estimates of suicide deaths in HE students are therefore more accurate than previous reports. More information on trends over time can be found in (2) 
  • In 2015, female suicide rates increased in England to their highest levels since 2005 (3)
References

Depression

  • Depression is one of the leading causes of disability worldwide and a major contributor to suicide and coronary heart disease (1–3)
  • 24% of women and 13% of men in England are diagnosed with depression in their lifetime (4) 
  • Depression often co-occurs with other mental health issues (5-7)
  • Depression occurs in 2.1% of young people aged 5-19 (8) 
  • In 2017, 0.3% of 5-10 year old children met clinical criteria for depression, as did 2.7% of 11-16 year olds and 4.8% of 17-19 year olds (8) 
  • Major depression is more common in females than in males (8) 
  • Up to 90% of children and young people recover from depression within the first year (9) 
References

Anxiety

  • There were 8.2 million cases of anxiety in the UK in 2013 (1)
  • Women are twice as likely to be diagnosed with anxiety (2,3)
  • 7.2% of 5-19 year olds experience an anxiety condition (4) 
  • In 2017, 3.9% of 5-10 year old children had an anxiety disorder, as did 7.5% of 11-16 year olds and 13.1% of 17-19 year olds (4)  
References

Suicide

  • Among the general population 20.6% of people have had suicidal thoughts at some time, 6.7% have attempted suicide and 7.3% have engaged in self-harm (1)
  • 26.8% of people aged 16-24 report having had suicidal thoughts in their lifetime, a higher percentage than any other age group (1)
  • 34.6% of females and 19.3% of males aged 16-24 have had thoughts of suicide in their lifetime (1)
  • 9% of 16-24 year olds have attempted suicide in their lifetime – 5.4% of men, and 12.7% of women (1)
  • In 2018 there were 6,154 suicides in Great Britain. This means more than 16 people per day took their life. It is estimated that 10-25 times that number attempted suicide (2,3)
    Note: These statistics refer specifically to Great Britain. The figures were calculated using data from supplementary tables released as part of the ONS’ Suicides in the UK: 2018 registrations report and adding together the 2018 suicide figures from England, Scotland and Wales. 
  • Note: 2018 saw a change in the standard of proof used by coroners in England and Wales around ruling deaths as suicides. In England and Wales, all deaths caused by suicide are certified by a coroner. In July 2018, the standard of proof used by coroners to determine whether a death was caused by suicide was lowered to the “civil standard” (i.e., balance of probabilities), where previously a “criminal standard” was applied (i.e., beyond all reasonable doubt). The change does not affect Northern Ireland or Scotland. It is likely that lowering the standard of proof will result in an increased number of deaths recorded as suicide. It is not yet possible to establish whether the higher number of recorded suicide deaths are a result of this change. Further information is available from (2). 
  • In 2016/17, 95 higher education students died by suicide in England and Wales (4) 
  • Note: This number is based on a new report from the Office for National Statistics, which is developing new methods of identifying and reporting on suicide deaths in students enrolled in higher education institutions. In comparison to previous reports, this report uses stricter criteria to define who is a HE student. Current estimates of suicide deaths in HE students are therefore more accurate than previous reports. More information on trends over time can be found in (4) 
  • In 2017, 682 people aged 10-29 died by suicide in England and Wales (2) 
  • In GB, 1,784 people died in road traffic accidents in 2018 (5) 
  • More females attempt suicide than males (6)
  • More men die by suicide: 75% male and 25% female (2)
  • Suicide is the most common cause of death for those aged 10-19 (7)
  • In 2015, female suicide rates increased in England to their highest levels since 2005 (8)
  • 80-90% of people who attempt/die by suicide have a mental health condition, but not all are diagnosed (9,10)
    Note: The best and most recently available evidence suggests that the figure is 80.8% overall (10). This research notes that this figure can vary. This depends on factors such as where the studies were conducted, which mental health conditions were examined, and how recently the study was published. Older studies tend to report higher figures, e.g. Arsenault-Lapierre and colleagues published research in 2004 which reports a figure of 87.3% (9). These studies are reviews of ‘psychological autopsy studies’ of suicide completers. The psychological autopsy method makes use of interviews with family members, medical records, and other relevant documents to assess whether the suicide completer had a mental health condition. Older studies estimated mood disorders were present in 30-90% of suicide cases (11).
  • 28% of people who complete suicide have been in contact with mental health services in the year before death (12)
  • 43% of people aged under 20 are not in contact with health care, social care or justice services at any time before their death by suicide (13) 
  • ChildLine counselling about suicidal thoughts and feelings reached the highest ever levels with 24,549 sessions in 2017/18 (14)
  • Drug and alcohol misuse increase the risk of suicide attempts and completions (15–18)
References

Self-harm

  • The UK has one of the highest self-harm rates in Europe (1–3)
  • Self-harm is more common in veterans, young people, women, LGBT+, prisoners, asylum seekers, and those who’ve been abused (4)
  • Self-harming behaviours can begin at any age, but commonly start between ages 13 and 15 (5) 
  • About 18% of students aged 12-17 report self-harming at some point in their life. Self-harming is 2-3 times more common females (6) 
  • 25.7% of women and 9.7% of men aged 16-24 report having self-harmed at some point in their life (7) 
  • 18,778 children and young people were admitted to hospital for self-harm in England and Wales in 2015/16, a 14% rise from 2013/14 (8) 
  • In 2018/19, ChildLine provided 13,406 counselling sessions about self-harm across the UK (9) 
  • People who self-harm are approximately 49 times more likely to die by suicide (10)
    Note: Further information on suicide risk following self-harm can be found in (11,12). Information on suicide risk following self-harm in children and young people can be found in (13,14)
References

Eating disorders

  • 6.4% of people in England have experienced symptoms of an ED (1)
  • About 25% of those experiencing ED symptoms are male (2)
  • The peak age of onset for an eating disorder diagnosis is between 16 and 20 years (3) 
  • Up to 725,000 people in the UK have an eating disorder (4) 
    Note: 13.1% of 16-24 year olds have experienced symptoms of an eating disorder in the past year (1)
  • 0.4% of 5-19 year olds experience symptoms of an eating disorder (5) 
  • Hospital Episode Statistics data shows 2,703 people were admitted to hospital for an eating disorder in 2015/16, an 8% drop from the previous 12 months. 91% were female (6) 
  • The most common age of hospital admission for an eating disorder was 15 years for both females and males (6) 
  • Anorexia often co-occurs with other mental and physical health issues (7) 
  • The average age of onset for anorexia is 16 years (8) 
  • About 50% of patients with anorexia fully recover, about 30% improve and about 20% stay chronically ill (8,9) 
  • 0.8% of people in the UK meet criteria for bulimia (10)
  • Bulimia is most commonly diagnosed in females aged 16-20 (3,11,12) 
  • Bulimia is most commonly diagnosed in females aged 16-20 (3)
  • 45% of people with bulimia recover fully, 27% improve, 23% stay chronically ill (13) 
  • Binge eating disorders is more common than anorexia or bulimia: 3.6% of people in the UK meet criteria for binge eating disorder (10) 
  • People with eating disorders are at high risk of premature death and suicide (14) 
References

Psychosis and schizophrenia

  • 6% of the population say they have experienced at least one symptom of psychosis (1)
  • Research suggests that 9.8% of children and young people have experienced symptoms of psychosis (2)
  • Psychosis usually first emerges in young people between the ages of 15 and 30 (3)
  • Males have a higher risk of developing schizophrenia during their lifetime (4)
  • Age of onset is lower in men (3,5-7)
  • Schizophrenia affects less than 1 in 100 people during their lifetime (8-10)
  • 38% of people recover after a first episode of psychosis, and symptoms improve for 58% of people (11)
    Note: This research reviewed rates of remission and recovery for people with first episode psychosis in 79 studies from around the world. It found that 58% of patients with first episode psychosis met criteria for remission (i.e. symptom improvement) over an average of 5.5 years, and 38% met criteria for recovery over an average of 7.2 years
  • 21st Century improvements in early intervention and treatment methods, and newer medicines, mean better recovery rates for psychosis and schizophrenia. 10 years after diagnosis:
    • 25% recovered completely from their first episode
    • 25% improved with treatment, recovery of (almost) all previous functioning and had very few relapse events
    • 25% improved, needed significant support to function normally and to get through relapse events
    • 15% led a chronic course with little or no improvement and repeated hospital stays over a prolonged part of adult life
    • 10% died, usually as a result of suicide (12)
  • Recovery is more likely if psychotic episodes are treated early (13)
References

Bipolar disorder

  • Around 2% of the population have experienced symptoms of bipolar disorder (1–3)
  • Bipolar disorder affects men and women affected equally (1) 
  • Bipolar disorder often starts between adolescence and mid-30s (4,5)
  • It can take around 6 years to receive a correct diagnosis of bipolar disorder (6,7)
References

Personality disorders

  • Between 4% and 15% of people meet the diagnostic criteria for personality disorder (1,2)
References

Alcohol, drugs and mental health

  • 30-50% of people with a severe mental illness also have problems with substance use (1-3)
  • Substantial numbers of people in contact with substance misuse services have mental illness (2,4,5)
  • Drug and alcohol misuse increase the risk of suicide attempts and completions (6-9)
References

Cyberbullying

  • Girls are more likely to experience cyberbullying than boys (1-3)
  • 21.2% of young people aged 11-19 report being cyberbullied in the past year (3)
  • Cyberbullying-related contacts to ChildLine went up by 12% in 2016/17 (4)