Depression figures show need for mental health boost


I've called for a transformational investment in mental health services after new figures revealed 20% of adults reported one or more symptoms of depression – a 43% increase since 2008/09.

The Scottish Health Survey 2015, published today, found:

  • 20% of adults reported one or more symptoms of depression, up from 14% in 2008/09;
  • levels of self-reported self-harm increased to 7%, up from 2% in 2010/11;
  • young women have “significantly lower” levels of mental health;
  • People from the most deprived backgrounds, compared to the least deprived, are twice as likely to have two or more symptoms of anxiety, four times more likely to have two or more symptoms of depression, and more than twice as likely to have attempted suicide.

The 43% increase in the number of adults reporting one or more symptoms of depression underlines the need for the Scottish Government to deliver a step change in mental health services.

These figures show rates of depression, anxiety and self-harm have increased.

Children are waiting two years and travelling hundreds of miles for treatment. But SNP ministers have reduced the share of the NHS budget spent on mental health and let our once world-leading mental health strategy expire last December.

We urgently need a step change in the way we treat mental health, starting with a new strategy and record levels of funding.

That would be a start towards ensuring treatment is available when and where people need it, so that they can get on in life.


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