Updated August 2023

Sadly. the Covid Pandemic has vastly accelerated these figures:

  • A shocking 44% increase in adult referrals in the UK to NHS mental health services between 2016-17 and 2021-22, from 4.4 million in 2016-17 to 6.4 million in 2021-22
  • Around 26% of 17 to 19 year olds have a probable mental disorder in 2022, a staggering increase from 10% in 2017
  • NHS England estimate that the number of people with mental health needs who are not in contact with NHS mental health services is 8 million as of 2021

NAO.org – Progress in improving mental health


This means that one in four (ie. 25% or a quarter) of all adults in the UK, will experience a mental illness at some point each year. Perhaps more horrifying is that 10% of children aged 5-16 have been diagnosed with a mental health problem and are often missed until they reach a crisis point, when the average wait for effective treatment is 10 years! No wonder suicide is currently the biggest killer of young people in the UK. Mental health currently receives less than 6% of all funding despite accounting for 23% of ill health.

Wow! These facts have shocked me and I thought that I was aware of what a sad state mental health is in the UK. I have taken these figures from a Fact Sheet produced by the Mental Health Network, which makes for depressing reading, if you weren’t already, so not a very positive start to my first blog! I am deeply saddened by these statistics and sincerely hope that I can make a difference to the lives of some people. On a lighter note, at least I shouldn’t be short of clients!