Stress, Anxiety & Depression

9 September 2014

Professor Dame Sally Davies, the chief medical officer, has said the number of working days lost due to stress, depression and anxiety has increased by 24 per cent since 2009, while the number lost due to serious mental illness has doubled.  In her report, she said around 70 million working days were lost to mental illness last year at an “astounding” cost of up to £100 billion to the economy.

Dame Sally said faster help for anxiety, stress and depression could help to ensure more people stayed in work, and help the economy. Her report supported early medical intervention over “well-being” interventions. The report urges NHS commissioners to “treat mental health more like physical health” and to introduce waiting targets so patients do not have to wait so long.

“Anyone with mental illness deserves good quality support at the right time. One of the stark issues highlighted in this report is that 60-70 per cent of people with common mental disorders such as depression and anxiety are in work, so it is crucial that we take action to help those people stay in employment to benefit their own health as well as the economy…Too many people with mental health problems are given inadequate help to get or keep work. Yet employment can be an integral part of recovery for many people. Better help for people to retain employment and to get timely access to psychological therapy when they become unwell is crucial.”

The Telegraph’s article can be found here