Strong link between deprivation and mental health

  • A report looking into people in Scotland found that people from the most deprived areas are more than three times more likely to be treated for mental health issues than people from affluent communities./images/mentalhealth.jpg

    The study investigated the number of people treated for mental health problems between 2013 and 2014 and found that official figures stated a discharge figure of 649 in 100,000 people in the most deprived areas, reports the BBC. 

    This compared to a figure of 197 per 100,000 people in affluent communities.

    The report stated there was "a strong and consistent relationship with deprivation", adding: "The more deprived an area, the higher its rate of psychiatric inpatient discharges".

    The report found that between 1997/98 and 2013/14 the annual numbers of admissions, discharges, stays and patients all fell by about a third, with the number of hospital residents falling by more than 50% over the period.

    The report stated: "These patterns reflect the shift in recent years in the care of people with mental health problems, away from inpatient treatment towards various forms of care in the community."

    The minster in charge of mental health, Jamie Hepburn, welcomed the continuing decline in the number of hospitalisations related to mental illness.

    He added: "Expenditure on mental health services is around £900m in Scotland. We have increased access to psychological therapies, allowing more people to stay out of hospital. We have worked with NHS boards to improve the prescribing of anti-depressants and other medications, meaning that people are given appropriate treatment when they need it. On child and adolescent mental health services, we were the first country in the UK to introduce waiting times for treatments. The workforce has been increased by 45% since 2008 and we have recently announced a £15m mental health innovation fund, which will be partly used to improve access to services for children and young people."

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