The Facts of life

Here are some interesting facts and stats about mental health to set the record straight.

Around 20% of the world’s children and adolescents have mental disorders or problems.

About half of mental disorders begin before the age of 14.

Most low- and middle-income countries have only one child psychiatrist for every 1 to 4 million people.

Regions of the world with the highest percentage of population under the age of 19 have the poorest level of mental health resources.

Over 800 000 people die due to suicide every year and suicide is the second leading cause of death in 15-29-year-olds.

75% of suicides occur in low- and middle-income countries

Rates of mental disorder tend to double after emergencies and war.

Mental disorders increase the risk of getting ill from other diseases such as HIV, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and vice-versa.

Globally, there is huge inequity in the distribution of skilled human resources for mental health.

Shortages of psychiatrists, psychiatric nurses, psychologists and social workers are among the main barriers to providing treatment and care in low- and middle-income countries. Low-income countries have 0.05 psychiatrists and 0.42 nurses per 100 000 people. The rate of psychiatrists in high income countries is 170 times greater and for nurses is 70 times greater.

The vast majority of people with mental health problems are no more likely to be violent than anyone else. Most people with mental illness are not violent and only 3%-5% of violent acts can be attributed to individuals living with a serious mental illness.

People with severe mental illnesses are over 10 times more likely to be victims of violent crime than the general population.

Only 44% of adults with diagnosable mental health problems and less than 20% of children and adolescents receive needed treatment.

Women are more likely to have been treated for a mental health problem than men.

Suicides rates show that British men are three times more likely to die by suicide than British women.

Self-harm statistics for the UK show one of the highest rates in Europe: 400 per 100,000 population.

Depression is one of the most common conditions in young people and increases during adolescence.

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