People with mental health difficulties

People with mental health difficulties

Key messages

National statistics confirm mental health as the largest single cause of disability. Both common mental health problems and diagnosable psychosis are associated with:
  • being separated or divorced
  • being unemployed or in an unskilled job
  • having physical health problems
  • living in an urban area
In some of these cases, the direction of causation may not be one way. The influence of mental health conditions is also associated with educational achievement and skills, health risk behaviours such as smoking and substance misuse, anti-social behaviour and criminality.

Key messages from users and carers in previous reviews and surveys

Although there has been significant progress in mental health (with the development of a range of different services), there needs to be:
  • more direct support for carers, including short break care, especially for young carers, either through extra support into the home, or the person they care for being able to have short-break care in a suitable environment
  • improved access to substance misuse and alcohol service for people with mental distress (including alcohol detox facilities)
  • improved services for people with eating disorders
  • more recognition of the needs of people with Asperger’s Syndrome
  • more access to crisis beds
  • earlier intervention, including a 24 hour helpline, for people experiencing mental distress, but who don’t meet the criteria for immediate risk of hospital admission
  • more emphasis on social inclusion and recovery, particularly the employment of service users, information to employers ad work to address stigma and discrimination
  • more intensive support for people who would benefit from longer term support to help them live independently, and support which can respond flexibly to changes in their mental health any time, day or night
  • more locally available service and more choice, including day opportunities, which offer safe, supported facilities with mental health expertise, as well as support to access opportunities in the wider community
  • out of hours flexible services

Copies of surveys from previous years are available below:

Key documents