What do we mean by mental health and wellbeing?
Mental health problems range from worries about everyday life through to serious long-term conditions. The most common mental health symptoms are depression, anxiety or panic. These are severe forms of ‘normal’ emotional experiences that affect our ability to get on with our daily lives. National surveys have found that 1 in 6 people in the past week will have experienced a common mental health problem such as anxiety or depression. Recent research has shown that two-thirds of adults say that they have experienced mental ill-health at some point in their lives. There are also more severe forms of mental illness such as bipolar disorder (characterised by periods of depression and hyperactivity) and schizophrenia (characterised by withdrawal and often hallucinations). Between one and two people in every 100 experience these forms of mental illness.
You can learn more about common mental health disorders (CMHD), their prevalence in Wakefield and the services available for people suffering from them, by visiting the common mental health disorders page.
You can also learn more about the types of severe mental illness (SMI) and their prevalence and treatment in Wakefield, by visiting the severe mental illness page.
Risk factors affecting mental health
There are many things that are part of our lives and occur in life that can impact on an individuals mental health and wellbeing. Risk factors for mental health start very early in life and can even occur before birth (e.g. due to substance misuse during pregnancy) and continue through childhood (around 50% of mental illness develops before the age of 14) and into adulthood. Factors that increase the risk of a person developing poor mental health or wellbeing can be grouped into ‘Individual’, ‘Social’ and ‘Environmental’ factors, and you can gain more information about the size of these issues in Wakefield by following the relevant link in the table below: