Researchers make urgent call to prevent mental health-related deaths

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A ground-breaking study in Lancet Psychiatry by 40 international specialists urgently demands global action on mental health-related deaths

Unveiling shocking risk factors such as life tragedies, unemployment, stigma, marginalization, and limited access to vital services, the Lancet has demanded the government to better safeguard those with mental health issues.

Researchers have strongly advised broad global steps to address the rising mortality rates among people with mental health problems, according to a study published in Lancet Psychiatry that involved 40 international specialists.

The researchers, who also involve members of the University of York, have pinpointed the precise characteristics that raise the risk of early death in this population.

Various factors, such as life tragedies, unemployment, stigma, marginalization, social isolation, and limited access to essential services, contribute to higher mortality rates among those with mental health problems.

The prevalence of anxiety and depression in the UK and their workplace impact

Within the UK, the prevalence of anxiety and depression is alarmingly high, with millions of individuals affected by these mental health conditions.

The latest mental health statistics by Mind, a mental health charity, shed light on the prevalence of anxiety and depression. In England, 6 in 100 people are diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder each week, while over 8 million individuals in the UK experience an anxiety disorder at any given time, according to data from charity mental health UK.

Data from The Workplace Health Report shows a troubling picture: 60% of employees, with 65% of females and 53% of males, experience anxiety, yet only 10% seek mental health support.

only 10% of workers seek mental health support

To add more, when it comes to depression, it isn’t just a public health issue; it also poses challenges for organizations. The Workplace Health Report indicates that 56% of employees, with 50% of males and 60% of females, experience symptoms of depression

Key recommendations for addressing rising mortality rates relating to mental health

The study’s authors offered a thorough list of 18 recommendations meant to address the issues surrounding mental health.

  • Provide incorporated healthcare
  • Implement community-based interventions
  • Limit access to lethal suicide methods
  • Reduce inequality
  • Increase funding for mental health services
  • Support research initiative

Professor Simon Gilbody, Director of the Mental Health and Addictions Research Group (MHARG) at the University of York, made comments on the research “We were honoured to join forces with research leaders from around the world in preparing this landmark report.

York has been at the forefront of research to tackle this major health inequality. The Gone Too Soon report places mental health on the same page as physical health, and we have used our research intelligence to inform the key recommendations.”

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“Our specific contribution was to help tackle the epidemic of tobacco-related harms in mental health services. This contributes to the 20-year health gap at the heart of this report” he further added.

Working together for better mental health: Harnessing Lived experience to create real solutions

This transformative study, co-designed with individuals who have lived experience with mental illnesses, funded by The William Templeton Foundation, emphasizes the need for effective interventions in young people’s mental health.

This inclusive approach is evident in the report itself, which was co-written by committed researchers and people and families who have lived experience with the effects of mental illness.

Together, they shed light on a future strategy that makes use of lived experience to unlock potential and effect significant change for reducing mental health-related deaths.

Glasgow University’s Suicidal Behaviour Research Laboratory Director, Professor Rory O’Connor, commented: “Globally, too many people die prematurely from suicide and the physical health problems associated with mental illness and mental distress.”

“Globally, too many people die prematurely from suicide and the physical health problems associated with mental illness and mental distress.”

“For this first time, we have brought together a multidisciplinary global team of academic, policy, clinical, and lived and living experience experts with the specific aim of understanding the driving forces behind these deaths together with what needs to be done to tackle this public health crisis.”.

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