One of the most important and contentious issues in contemporary public health policy is the continual improvement of mental health and wellbeing. The aim of this essay is to discuss mental health as a fundamental public health priority suggesting strategies and interventions to support people with mental disorders. The essay will also explore psychological and socio-economic factors as determinants of mental health.
Evidence based research has increasingly demonstrated that mental health issues and illnesses have a cumulatively significant impact upon population morbidity, mortality and health inequalities (Webber 2008). “Mental health is a state of successful mental functioning resulting in productive activities, fulfilling relationships and the ability to adapt to change and cope with adversity”.
Mental health problems are usually defined and classified by medical professionals. Most mental health symptoms have traditionally been divided into symtom groups called either ‘neurotic’ or ‘psychotic’. ‘Neurotic’ cover those symptoms which may be regarded as extreme forms of ‘normal’ emotional experiences such as depression, anxiety, panic and psychosis interfere with a person’s perception of reality and may include hallucinations, delusions or paranoia. The Mental Health Foundation in 2007 recorded that 4.4% of people in the general population claim to have experienced at least one symptom of psychosis such as a delusion or hallucinations (The Fundamental facts, mental health Foundation 2007).
Mental illness is considered a health problem because it adversely affects the behaviour and feelings of an individual. In health, economic and social terms, the burden created by mental health problems and mental illnesses in the United Kingdom are immense and growing. Mental illness is arguably one of the prominent challenges that current and future generations will face. Almost one quarter of the population experience some mental health problems in a year (Thoits 2013). The Office for National Statistics Psychiatric Morbidity report found that, in any one year 1 in 4 British adults experience at least one mental disorder and 1 in 6 experience this at any given time (Singleton 2001). Mental illness is responsible for the largest proportion of the disease burden in the UK, 22.8% larger than that of cardiovascular disease, 16.2% larger than that of cancer. Overall, the economic and social costs of mental health problems were estimated at £105 billion in 2010. Analysis from the most recent national psychiatric survey revealed that 24% of adult are treated for mental disorder, 28% with post traumatic stress disorder, 65% with psychotic disorders in the past year (McManus 2007) and 25% of children and youngsters’ . YOU CANT MAKE THIS STATEMENT AND THEN USE A REFERENCE FROM 2007!!!!
Professor Saharian (2010) a lead researcher from University of Cambridge argued that “the prevalence and cost of UK brain disorders is likely to continue to increase, adding additional pressure on the NHS and social services, particularly in regard to the cost of institutionalized care.” The study also revealed that in 2010, the year for which the most recent data is available, there were approximately 45 million diagnoses of brain disorders in the UK. Among these were 8.2 million cases of anxiety disorder, almost 5.3 million cases of sleep disorder, more than one million cases of addiction and almost 4 million cases of mood disorders, including bipolar” THE FOOTNOTE WAS ACCESSED WHEN???
A 2007 survey from the Office of National Statistics indicated that problems of mental health are more common in Wales, and they are 8.7% as compared to Scotland which have a prevalence rate of 8.6%. England has a prevalence rate of 8.1% and Northern Ireland stands at 6.9%. It is however estimated that less than 1% of people are registered to a doctor with a problem of mental health or its