One in three adults (37 per cent) aged 16-74, with conditions such as anxiety or depression, surveyed in England, were accessing mental health treatment in 2014.

The results of the Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing, published today by NHS Digital, show that this figure has increased from one in four people (24 per cent) since the last survey was carried out in 2007.

Overall, around one in six adults (17 per cent) surveyed in England met the criteria for a common mental disorder (CMD) in 2014.

The Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey - Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing, England, 20146 provides statistics on the prevalence of both treated and untreated psychiatric conditions among adults aged 16 and over, in England.

The survey was carried out for NHS Digital by the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) in collaboration with the University of Leicester. It provides context for understanding mental health and supports clinical research and funding by examining the prevalence of mental health conditions and behaviours and how they vary by factors such as gender, age, ethnic group and marital status.

The report also showed, for the people surveyed:

Women were more likely than men to have reported CMD symptoms. One in five women (19 per cent) had reported CMD symptoms, compared with one in eight men (12 per cent). Women were also more likely than men to report severe symptoms of CMD - 10 per cent of women surveyed reported severe symptoms compared to 6 per cent of men.

The gap in reported rates of CMD symptoms between young men and women has increased since the first time the survey was carried out. In 1993, 19 per cent of 16 to 24 year old women surveyed reported symptoms of CMD compared to 8 per cent of 16 to 24 year old men. In 2014, CMD symptoms were almost three times as commonly reported by women of that age range (26 per cent) than men (9 per cent).

Medication was the most common form of mental health treatment for all conditions assessed within the survey and was reported as being taken by 10 per cent of all people interviewed. 3 per cent reported receiving psychological therapy. Medication was more common than psychological therapy both in those with current symptoms of CMD (31 per cent with medication and 12 per cent with therapies) and in those without current symptoms. (6 per cent with medication and 1 per cent with therapies).

Of those people reporting severe CMD symptoms there has been an increase in the proportion who reported accessing psychological therapy from 13 per cent in 2000 to 15 per cent in 2007 and 18 per cent in 2014.

The report is the latest in a series of surveys which took place previously in 1993, 2000 and 2007. It includes mental health data which are not collected anywhere else and complements the wide range of statistics routinely published on mental health by NHS Digital.

The report features chapters on: common mental disorders, mental health treatment and service use, post-traumatic stress disorder, psychotic disorder, autism, personality disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, bipolar disorder, alcohol, drugs, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts and self-harm and comorbidity.

Information published in the report includes:

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder:

About a third (31 per cent) of adults surveyed reported having experienced at least one traumatic event.

Among women, the likelihood of screening positive for PTSD was high among 16 to 24 year olds (13 per cent) and then declined with age. In men, the rate remained relatively consistent for age groups between 16 and 64, (between 4 and 5 per cent for these age groups) only declining in much later life.

Bipolar (included for the first time):

Before APMS 2014, bipolar disorder had not been assessed in the UK general population.

Overall, 2 per cent of those surveyed screened positive for bipolar disorder, with similar rates of around 2 per cent for both men and women.

Positive screening for bipolar disorder was more common in younger age-groups. 3 per cent of 16 to 24 year olds screened positive compared with less than 1 per cent of those aged 65 to 74. None of the participants aged 75 and over screened positive for bipolar disorder. These were small numbers of individuals and the rates for specific age groups in the overall population may vary from these, but the overall reduction of rate with age was found to be statistically significant.

Suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts and self-harm among those surveyed:

A fifth of adults (21 per cent) reported that they had thought of taking their own life at some point.

Overall, half of people who had attempted suicide had sought help after their most recent attempt (50 per cent).

The proportion of the population who report having self-harmed has increased from 2 per cent of 16 to 74 year olds in 2000 to 4 per cent in 2007, and 6 per cent in 2014. This increase is evident in both men and women and across age-groups.

One in four 16 to 24 year old women (26 per cent) surveyed has self-harmed, more than twice the rate than in young men (10 per cent). This mostly took the form of self-cutting.

Comorbidity:

For the first time, the 2014 survey profiled comorbidity across mental disorders, chronic physical conditions, psychological wellbeing and mental disorder. The five chronic conditions considered were asthma, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer and epilepsy.

There was an association between common mental disorders (CMD) and chronic physical conditions. Over a third (38 per cent) of people surveyed with severe CMD symptoms reported a chronic physical condition, compared with a quarter (25 per cent) of those with no or few symptoms of CMD.

The association between common mental disorder (CMD) and chronic physical conditions was evident for each of the chronic conditions examined. For example, people surveyed with severe symptoms of CMD were twice as likely to have asthma (15 per cent) as people with no or few symptoms (7 per cent).

Read the full report at: http://content.digital.nhs.uk/pubs/apmsurvey

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