Four to ten percent of Brits likely to suffer from depression in their lifetime

Mental Health Foundation has predicted that around four to 10% of people in England will experience depression in their lifetime in a recently published study.

According to their research, one in six adults had a mental disorder in 2016, with mixed anxiety and depression being the most common ones.

Mental health adviser at the University of Central Lancashire, Sumaiyaa Khoda, believes that talking more openly about mental health issues can help reduce the stigma surrounding them and make people who are suffering from them realise they’re not alone:

Twenty-one year old Irha Acedo, who has struggled with depression in the past, also thinks that discussing mental health will give way to a better understanding of it:

But is there enough information out there? Could people be having a hard time diagnosing themselves because they can’t find any clues online? Sumaiyaa doesn’t think that’s the case: “I don’t actually think there needs to be more information. I think in terms of online there’s absolutely lots of really good self help materials, online programmes, websites, videos… I think it‘s just making that information accessible to people by advertising it and promoting it.”

The Mental Health Foundation report also found that there was a total of 6,122 recorded suicides in the UK in 2014 for people aged 10 and older. Seventy-five percent of which were male.

Suicide was even the main cause of death amongst men under 50 and women aged 20–30.

Stats source: Fundamental facts about mental health 2016 (Mental Health Foundation); Infograph credit: Amy Vieira

Could it be a possible lack of support from those around them that leads these people who are struggling to isolate themselves even more? Irha feels like sometimes it comes down to the person wanting or even realising that they need support: “With depression, sometimes you think it’s a bad day, but then it becomes a bad week and that’s when you realise that it could be something much bigger. But not everyone will realise that and seek advice, they’ll sort of just wait for it to go away or keep it to themselves.”

Sumaiyaa’s advice to those who might be keeping their struggles to themselves is to start by talking to someone who they trust: “I think ultimately anyone who’s struggling needs to talk to someone they trust — that might be a family or a friend — because if they tell someone they trust and they get that reassurance then that will hopefully help them to take the next step, which is to get some professional help.”

For more mental health statistics from the Mental Health Foundation, click here.

For more information on how Sumaiyaa Khoda and her team assist students who seek help at Uclan’s Mental Health Advisors Service, listen below: