Mental Health Statistics

Mental Health Statistics

Mental health conditions have been growing over the last decade, and remain prevalent across the UK. In fact, mental health problems are one of the main causes of the overall disease burden, globally. However, issues with mental health have been at the forefront of people’s minds in the last few years, with more and more people recognising how common mental health conditions are and how they affect many people in our lives, especially with the introduction of the coronavirus disease. 

 

The Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), first identified in December 2019, has resulted in a global pandemic which continues to impact people in many ways. The number of cases has continued to rise, with countries such as the U.S. seeing exceptionally high death rates, and the introduction of social distancing and quarantine measures has had a measurable impact on the economy. 

 

The combination of the direct effects of the disease on individuals and their families, and the combined effect on housing, financial security, unemployment and social isolation has led to an increase in emotional and mental challenges worldwide, with specific populations being disproportionately affected. Worry, stress, anxiety and other emotional responses are to be expected during such times of instability, and for those already suffering mental illness, the extra pressure serves to exacerbate their condition. 

 

To determine how the state of mental health in the UK has changed over the last few years and due to the coronavirus, we have researched and put together some key facts, insights and statistics about mental health, including:

  • The impact of COVID-19 on mental health
  • How COVID-19 and mental health has affected workers
  • Accessibility to mental health services during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • How COVID-19 has affected children
  • How young people are coping with the COVID-19 pandemic
  • How mental health in children has changed over the past year
  • The impact of social media on mental health

 

Here’s what we found:

 

Mental Health and COVID-19

People Worried About Their Mental Health Due to COVID

On May 31, 38% of respondents in the United Kingdom stated that their mental health is among their main concerns about the coronavirus pandemic, compared to just 28% of respondents in the US, and 23% of respondents in Germany.

 

Percentage of workers who reported select mental health symptoms since the coronavirus outbreak

This statistic shows the percentage of workers who reported select mental health symptoms since the COVID-19 outbreak, globally as of April 2020. The survey was conducted among employees in Australia, France, Germany, New Zealand, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States.

  • Around 54% of respondents reported feeling more emotionally exhausted since the COVID-19 outbreak. 
  • 53% of respondents reported increased sadness in their day-to-day life.
  • 50.2% of respondents claim to be more irritable.
  • 42.9% feel generally more confused
  • 38.1% of respondents reported increased insomnia.
  • 32.2% reported increased anger
  • 24.4% of respondents claim to have experienced increased feelings of guilt.

 

Percentage of workers who reported select mental health challenges affecting their productivity since the coronavirus outbreak in 2020

This statistic shows the percentage of workers who reported select mental health challenges affecting productivity since the COVID-19 outbreak as of April 2020. The survey was conducted among employees in Australia, France, Germany, New Zealand, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States.

  • The most commonly reported challenge to productivity among workers since the COVID-19 outbreak began was difficulty concentrating (28.3%).
  • 20% of respondents reported taking longer to do tasks
  • 14.7% reported difficulty thinking, reasoning, or decision making
  • 12.4% of respondents have reported putting off challenging work
  • 11.8% of respondents reported difficulty juggling tasks and responsibilities.

 

Global mental health of workers before and after COVID-19 outbreak: April 2020

This statistic shows the percentage of workers who reported either perfectly healthy or nonfunctional mental health status in the year leading to COVID-19 and in the past week, globally as of April 2020. The survey was conducted among employees in Australia, France, Germany, New Zealand, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States.

  • The share of respondents who reported their mental health in the lowest range (Nonfunctional/Extremely challenged) had doubled, from 6.8% to 14.4%, since the COVID-19 outbreak. 
  • The share of respondents who reported no challenges dropped from 45.6% in the year leading to COVID-19, to 31.8%.

 

The Impact of COVID- 19 on Children’s Mental Health

Of children aged 5 - 16, 36.7% had a parent who thought their child was worried that friends or family would catch coronavirus.

  • More than half (50.2%) of children with a probable mental disorder had their parents report this, compared with a third (33.2%) of children unlikely to have a mental disorder.

Over a quarter (28.5%) of 5-22 year olds, overall, reported sleeping problems during the pandemic, compared to 58.9% of those with a probable mental disorder, and 19% of those without.

  • Sleep problems affected 17 to 22 year olds (41.0%) more than any other age group.

Children with a probable mental disorder were more likely to live in a household that had fallen behind with payments (16.3%) during lockdown, compared to just 6.4% of those unlikely to have a mental health disorder.

 

Effect of coronavirus crisis on young people's mental health in the UK in 2020

In a survey carried out in March 2020, 51% of young people in the United Kingdom reported that the current coronavirus pandemic and the resulting public health measures have made their mental health a bit worse. 

  • 32% of young people state their mental health has become much worse
  • 9% of respondents reported no difference in their mental health
  • 6% of respondents reported their mental health becoming “a bit better”, while just 1% reported “much better” mental health

 

Young people's coping mechanisms during coronavirus crisis in the UK

During this lockdown, 72% of young people with underlying health conditions say that face-to-face calls with friends, and watching tv or films is helpful in coping and self-managing their mental health during this time. 

  • On the other hand, 66% report that watching or reading the news is unhelpful for their mental health during this time.
  • Just 31% of respondents find social media helpful, while 36% find it unhelpful.

 

Percentage of adults in select countries able to get professional help in mental healthcare during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020*

An additional challenge for those experiencing mental distress during the pandemic is that social distancing regulations make it more difficult to access appropriate mental healthcare services.

Respondents in the United States and the United Kingdom were less likely than those from Australia and Canada to get access to professional mental health care they needed during the COVID-19 outbreak.

  • 54% of adults in Australia were able to get professional mental help during the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • 47% of adults in Canada were able to get professional mental help.
  • 32% of adults in the UK were able to get professional mental help.
  • 31% of adults in the US were able to get professional mental help.

 

Mental Health Statistics: Children & Young People

The prevalence of mental health conditions in children has increased in the last three years, from 1 in 9 children in 2017, to 1 in 6 in July 2020.

  • In boys aged 5 to 16, the prevalence rate has risen from 11.4% in 2017 to 16.7% in 2020.
  • In girls of the same age, the prevalence rate rose from 10.3% in 2017 to 15.2% in 2020.

Mental health conditions are more common in older children, especially teenage girls. 

  • In teens and young adults (17 to 22 year olds), 27.2% of young women and 13.3% of young men were identified as having a probable mental disorder in 2020

Among younger children, boys are almost twice as likely to have a mental health condition as girls.

While children make up 20% of the population in the UK, only 10% of mental health services spending is used on children.

More than a third of children who are referred to services are not accepted for treatment.

During the last year, there were 398,346 children referred to NHS mental health services, of these: 

  • 135,430 children had their referral closed before they entered treatment 
  • 74,130 children entered treatment within six weeks 
  • 56,688 children entered treatment but waited more than six weeks 
  • 131,878 children were still on the waiting list at the end of the year

Factors affecting the mental health of young people in the UK

  •  In 2019, 77% of young people surveyed in the United Kingdom stated that pressure to do well in school or college has had a significant impact on their mental health. 
  • 69% of respondents say that worrying about how they looked caused an impact on their mental health.
  • 41% reported bullying having a significant impact on their mental health
  • 27% of respondents said that spending too much time on social media was impacting their mental health.

 

Mental Health Statistics: Social Media

In a survey conducted in the UK among people between the ages of 14 and 24, many factors were taken into account to determine the most positive and negative social network for mental health. 14 factors were considered, such as anxiety, depression, loneliness, self-image, harassment, and the opportunity to express oneself.

  • YouTube is considered the most positive social network and was the only one in the study with a “net positive” impact
  • Instagram is the social network with the most negative impact on young people’s mental health.

Another study found that high usage of Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram can increase feelings of loneliness. The study also found that reducing social media usage was found to decrease feelings of loneliness and depression, and improve overall well being.

About 43% of children have been bullied online. Of children who have been bullied online:

  • 42% of children were bullied on Instagram
  • 37% were bullied on Facebook
  • 31% were bullied on Snapchat
  • 12% were bullied on WhatsApp
  • 10% were bullied on YouTube
  • 9% were bullied on Twitter
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