Three out of four people are not in their best mental health shape and have experienced symptoms of poor mental health, according to Business in the Community (BITC), an organization that released this October a report about the mental wellbeing of workers.

Mental health issues are not only related to severe depression, on the contrary, is a complex net of conditions and symptoms and to BITC, workplace mental health is a collective responsibility between employers and employees.

Sixty-two percent of people affected thought that work was a contributing factor to their symptoms. Image Credit: Rand Corporation

Mental health at work

The report was based on a survey the organization took in the United Kingdom, and the results showed that 29 percent of employees had been diagnosed with a mental health condition and 77 percent of workers have experienced symptoms of poor mental health at some point in their lives.

The report aimed to make a comprehensive assessment of workplace mental health taking into consideration more than 16,000 cases including people at different work levels, such as directors and senior managers as well as front-line workers.

More than half of the population had experienced psychological symptoms such as depression, anxiety, and panic attacks; behavioral symptoms like irritability, procrastination, mood swings, and appetite changes, as well as physical symptoms such as muscle tension, headaches, dizziness, and raised blood pressure. 62 percent of people affected thought that work was a contributing factor to their symptoms.

U.K. in trouble

BITC is only one of the organization that is collecting data about mental health in the United Kingdom. Young Minds, another NGO devoted to this topic, also released a report with mental health statistics in British youth that revealed that 1 in 10 children and adolescents suffer from a diagnosable problem and around 80,000 children are suffering from severe depression.

More than half of adults with mental health problems were diagnosed in childhood, but less of that half was treated at the time, and 95 percent of imprisoned young offenders are struggling with one or several disorders. To most experts, causes of growing mental health problems sit within schools and competitive environments.

Anxiety, depression, conduct disorders, and severe ADHD or hyperkinetic disorder are among the most common problems both in children and adults, in in the United Kingdom there is almost a mental health epidemic that represents a challenge to the society.

An issue across the world

Although the report revealed the data related to poor mental health in the United Kingdom, mental health cases are rising in number all over the world. In the United States, about 20 percent of adults have a mental health condition of some kind, according to Mental Health America (MHA).

MHA released the annual assessment which ranks the mental health care and access measures. The report showed that in the U.S., more than 43 million people are suffering mental conditions but only half of them are receiving proper care.  In teenagers and children, the situation is more critic since almost 80 percent of young people suffering mental health issues are not receiving the necessary care.

Mental illness touches everyone. We must improve access to care and treatments, and we need to put a premium on early identification and early intervention for everyone with mental health concerns,” said Paul Gionfriddo, president of Mental Health America.

In India, almost 14 percent of the population has mental disorders in some extent, and about 11 percent of those cases are so severe that require immediate attention. Another critical example is Pakistan, where in some villages up to 50 percent of the population have symptoms of mental health problems.

China, Russia, Brazil, Indonesia, Nigeria, Bangladesh, and Germany are the countries with the highest index of depression among the population.

The World Health Organization revealed on 2014 that almost 45 percent of the world’s population lived in countries with no proper mental health care systems. In most countries, there is less than one psychiatrist to serve 100,000 people.

Policies against mental health problems

To Peter Tait, a British psychiatrist, the causes are the crucial factor that needs to be addressed rather than the symptoms. Measures can be taken, such as programs in schools to make institutions and students recognize that there is a difference between fear and anxiety and competition and hard work.

In the U.S., the most critic issue is the system to provide health care to people with a mental health condition. Connecticut is the state with the most efficient system, while Idaho, Oregon, Arizona, and Nevada are not in the best shape.

“Once again, our report shows that too many Americans are suffering and far too many are not receiving the treatment they need to live healthy and productive lives,” said Paul Gionfriddo,

Last August, Hillary Clinton released a plan to reform the mental health care system that aims to attack problems such as the insufficient number of providers and expensive cost of medication, to provide a more accessible health care system to people suffering from different conditions.

Source: The Guardian