Mental health is complex and covers a wide range of conditions such as depression, anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorders, through to severe conditions like schizophrenia. Due to the complexities and variations in the types of data it is difficult to determine in some areas the exact prevalence of mental health conditions

Mental health disorders do not just affect individuals but also their families, friends and colleagues. Sickness absence due to mental health problems costs the UK economy £8.4 billion a year and also results in £15.1 billion in reduced productivity. Mental ill health is the largest single cause of disability in the UK, representing up to 23% of the total burden of ill health. The total economic cost of mental health problems in England is estimated to be around £105 billion and it has been estimates that cost of health services to treat mental illness could double over the next 20 years.

According to the Public Health England Community Mental Health Profile 20144 the overall prevalence rate (proportion of people with the condition over a set period) for depression in adults in Knowsley was 5.2 compared to the England rate of 5.8. Similarly the incidence rate (rate of new cases of condition over a set period) in Knowsley for the same year was also lower than the England rate (0.8 compared to 1.0).

Local activity data suggests that in Knowsley, 3,737 people (per 100,000 population) had contact with mental health services in comparison to the England rate of 2,176 people per 100,000 population7. This includes the number of people admitted to NHS funded adult specialist mental health services, regardless of a formal diagnosis. It also includes use of community as well as hospital based services and it can be compared with the levels of health and illness for a CCG to see whether the use of services is relatively high or low, given the recorded prevalence of mental illness.

According to the Public Health Community Mental Health Profile8 Knowsley also has a significantly higher number of attendances at A&E for a psychiatric disorder per 100,000 population than the rest of England (603.0 per 100,000 compared to 243.5 in England) and a higher number of bed days used in secondary mental health care hospitals than the rest of England (4,974 days per 100,000 population compared to 4,686 in the rest of England).

The full JSNA report can be found here: Adult Mental Health and Wellbeing