One in seven Suffolk adults has a common mental disorder, reveals heath report
One in seven adults in Suffolk has a common mental disorder such as depression or anxiety, according to a new report.
Suffolk County Council’s Suffolk Minds Matter Annual Public Health report shines a light on the issue which affects a total of 103,300 of the county’s residents.
The report document shows 50% of life-long mental problems develop before the age of 14 and 75% before the age of 25, although just 25-40% of children and young people get help from a mental health professional.
The report also reveals that one in 100 residents suffer from a severe mental health issue and that on average 62 deaths in the county are due to suicide – a figure the council wants to reduce by 10% in the next five years.
The council’s director of public health Abdul Razaq says the report looks into a wide range of areas that can help with the county’s mental health.
“Good mental health is essential for good physical health and viceversa,” he said. “The rates of common mental disorders like anxiety or stress are higher in women than in men, one in five have a common mental disorder compared with one in eight for men.
“What we want to do is help with a whole range of programmes and support services. The report is all encompassing.
“The plan is to promote emotional wellbeing, build community resilience, promote mental health in women and children, use our green spaces for getting people active, recreation, hobbies.
“It is about building friendships and companionship which is really important as part of this process as well. It is multifaceted.”
Mr Razaq said the council looked to combat the stigma associated with mental health and provide support to those living in more rural areas.
Tony Goldson, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for health, said it was positive the issue was being brought to the forefront of public health.
“We are now at long last recognising mental health issues and it is now in our plans,” he said.
“We have got to raise the mental health issue across our whole estate.
“Mental health is something we all deal with.
“It can take many forms. If it takes the form where you are ill we need people to be understanding, compassionate and empathise.”