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Lancashire Insight contains a mental health and wellbeing section.

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Mental health and wellbeing

The mental health and wellbeing section aims to bring together information on mental health and wellbeing in relation to Lancashire and the districts including wellbeing measures, determinants of mental health and prevalence of common mental health problems and serious mental illness, suicide, self-harm and dementia.

Wellbeing is the one of the strongest determinants of an individual’s health; it fundamentally affects behaviour, social cohesion, social inclusion and prosperity.  Self-reported wellbeing amongst Lancashire residents is similar to that of England (based on percentage of people with low satisfaction, low worthwhile, low happiness and high anxiety score, 2013/14).1


Impact of mental wellbeing and mental disorder

Positive mental wellbeing is associated with a range of improved health outcomes such as reduced mental illness, general health, physical illness and mortality as well as non-health outcomes such as improved educational achievement, reduced health risk behaviour and improved social relationships.
Mental ill health is the largest single cause of disability in the UK, contributing almost 23% of the overall burden of disease compared to about 16% each for cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Various factors increase risk of mental disorder while other factors promote mental health and protect against mental disorder. Deprivation and inequality are particularly important risk factors.
Most mental lifetime disorders arises before adulthood with half arising by the age of 14.3  Mental disorder in childhood and adolescence has a wide range of impacts and inequalities - in both childhood and adulthood - including poorer educational attainment, poorer physical health and social skills, as well as higher levels of health risk behaviours, self-harm and suicide. Similar impacts also occur for mental disorder arising in adulthood.
People from the most deprived areas are at higher risk poor mental health and of developing mental health problems, as are their children. They are twice as likely to consult their GP for help with mental health, they are also more likely to complete suicide, especially when they are young. Both individual and neighbourhood deprivation increase the risk of poor general and mental health.4 
Unemployment is associated with social exclusion, which has a number of adverse effects, including reduced psychological wellbeing and a greater incidence of self-harm, depression and anxiety. Conversely, employment has beneficial effects on an individual’s mental health. In April 2015 there were 9,302 people in Lancashire claiming job seekers allowance (1.3% compared to 1.8% in England). The public sector cuts are likely to mean further increases in the claimant count.
Poor housing is an aspect of deprivation associated with poor mental health. Some indication of the quality of housing in the county is provided by its value and its condition.
Poor educational attainment is associated with many negative health outcomes, including mental illness and lower wellbeing. Although educational attainment in Lancashire is similar to that of England, there is a strong social gradient across Lancashire (ranging from with 41.3% in Burnley to 70.6% in Ribble Valley, achieving 5A*-C GCSEs including English and Maths, in 2013/14).
Crime and fear of crime is also associated with poor mental health outcomes. There is a significant inequality in crime with those in the most deprived areas in Lancashire many times more likely to be a victim of crime than those in the least deprived areas.
Alcohol misuse is also a concern in Lancashire. From Public Health England's 2015 health profiles we know that Lancashire's rate of hospital stays for alcohol-related conditions is significantly worse than the England rate.
Mental health problems are common among those needing treatment for alcohol misuse and alcohol misuse is common among those with a mental health problem. Lancashire's rate of hospital admissions for alcohol-related mental and behavioural disorders due to use of alcohol condition (Narrow), all ages, is significantly worse than the England rate.

  1. Public Health outcomes Framework
  2. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/mental-health-promotion-and-mental-illness-prevention-the-economic-case
  3. Kessler RC, Chiu WT, Demler O, Merikangas KR, Walters EE. Prevalence, severity, and comorbidity of 12-month DSM-IV disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2005 Jun;62(6):617-27.
  4. Stafford M, Marmot M; Neighbourhood deprivation and health: does it affect us all equally? Int J Epidemiol. 2003 Jun;32(3):357-66

This page was last updated on 30 October 2015 by:

Farha Abbas