Mental health is a bigger issue now more than ever. With the rise of the internet and increasing pressure to appear picture-perfect 24/7, ongoing political and climate issues across the world, and rising stress levels caused by the pressures of modern-day life, people are being pushed to their breaking points.
Facing the facts and learning about the mental health problems which affect those around us is one way that we can all spread awareness. Continuing to read will help us to understand the bigger picture of mental health in the UK. This will also contribute to our awareness of others who are most susceptible, as well as teach us how to make our own mental health a priority.
What is the suicide rate in the UK?
Suicide is one of the leading causes of death amongst 15–19-year-olds, with men having a much higher suicide rate than women[i]. Suicides account for 11 deaths per 100,000 of the UK population.
People’s reasons for taking their lives vary – they may have been suffering from a mental illness for a while or gone through a traumatic event. Whatever the reason, suicide is not a decision taken lightly, and the impact of someone passing in this way can completely devastate families, friends, and communities.
Countries with the highest suicide rates
Globally, the UK comes 119th in terms of suicide rates per 100,000[ii]. Lesotho, a country in Southern Africa, has the highest suicide rate in the world by a very large margin. Other African countries, Guyana and Eswatini fall 2nd and 3rd.
Most common mental health issues in the UK
So, what are people in the UK struggling with? Data shows that a shocking 20.6% of us suffer from suicidal thoughts, with over 7% of the population reportedly having mixed anxiety and depression, or self-harming.
Other mental health issues diagnosed in the UK include PTSD, depression, BPD and OCD.
Mental health facts
Which groups are most susceptible to suicide, or mental health issues?
Many factors, including personal backgrounds, economic placement and social situations can put people at more risk of developing or suffering from mental health issues. Research has discovered that black people, those in LGBTIQ+ communities, multiply disadvantaged people and young women are at very high risk of struggling with their mental health.
Why is mental health suffering in the UK?
A mixture of societal stigma, budget cuts and lack of resources means that people in the UK are having to fight harder to get help with their mental health. These are some of the core reasons for the lack of resources.
How to look after your mental health
When times get tough, it’s vital to know where to turn and how to look after yourself. It can be hard, but once you are aware of where to start, and the resources available to you, you can begin taking care of yourself mentally, spiritually, and physically.
There are always places that you can turn for help. Here is a list of numbers to call or text when life gets tough.
If you want to help others who are in crisis or having a hard time, you should look at volunteering for an organisation like The Samaritans or seek out a career in mental health services. Taking an online counselling course is a good place to start.