As conversations about mental health get louder, and stigmas lift, we’re faced with the stark truth that mental health issues can affect anyone at any time. There’s such broad scope, not all issues have names, nor are they restricted to one issue at a time.

Traditionally, poor mental health is strongly associated with social and economic circumstances, including living in poverty, low-quality work, unemployment and housing. COVID-19 has had a devastating effect on global mental health, not least through the fear and insecurity the threat of the virus alone holds, but from the knock-on effects, such as loss of income, working from home, job loss etc. only serving to exacerbate the situation. Lack of access to therapists or usual mental health services are simply making matters worse.

From all over the world, we’ve gathered some staggering statistics:

  • Mental health problems are one of the main causes of the overall disease burden worldwide.

  • Mental health and behavioural problems (e.g. depression, anxiety and drug use) are reported to be the primary drivers of disability worldwide.

  • Major depression is thought to be the second leading cause of disability worldwide and a major contributor to the burden of suicide and ischemic heart disease.

  • It is estimated that 1 in 6 people in the past week experienced a common mental health problem.

  • In the United States, almost half of adults (46.4 percent) will experience a mental illness during their lifetime.

  • 5 percent of adults (18 or older) experience a mental illness in any one year, equivalent to 43.8 million people.

  • Half of all mental disorders begin by age 14 and three-quarters by age 24.

  • Mixed anxiety and depression is the most common mental disorder in Britain, with 7.8% of people meeting criteria for diagnosis.

  • 4-10% of people in England will experience depression in their lifetime.

  • Mixed anxiety and depression has been estimated to cause one fifth of days lost from work in Britain.

  • In England, women are more likely than men to have a common mental health problem and are almost twice as likely to be diagnosed with anxiety disorders.

  • Approximately 68% of women and 57% of men with mental health problems are parents.

  • The most common mental health problems experienced during pregnancy and after birth are anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

  • Around 10% of all new fathers worldwide experience postnatal depression.

  • 1 in 6.8 people experience mental health problems in the workplace (14.7%).

  • Women in full-time employment are nearly twice as likely to have a common mental health problem as full-time employed men (19.8% vs 10.9%).

  • Evidence suggests that 12.7% of all sickness absence days in the UK can be attributed to mental health conditions.

  • In the past year, 74% of people have felt so stressed they have been overwhelmed or unable to cope.

  • 51% of adults who felt stressed reported feeling depressed, and 61% reported feeling anxious.

  • Of the people who said they had felt stress at some point in their lives, 16% had self harmed and 32% said they had had suicidal thoughts and feelings.

  • 37% of adults who reported feeling stressed reported feeling lonely as a result.

  • For people who reported high levels of stress, 12% said that feeling like they need to respond to messages instantly was a stressor.

  • Depression is the predominant mental health problem worldwide, followed by anxiety, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

The Better app has an intuitive and simple interface, instilling a sense of calm simply through interaction. Created by leading consultant psychotherapist John Halker and experienced marketer Peter Grange, it allows you to “check in” on your current state of mental health, offering tools to improve mental wellbeing.

The Better app includes an emotional needs check, encourages talking and exercise, promotes calm through simple breathing exercises, and offers the ability to connect with therapists. With subscription, there’s weekly ‘Life made better’ and ‘Better sleep’ audios from leading British mental health experts.

‘There are clear and proven benefits for the user - better sleep, emotional health, deeper understanding of human needs, better physical wellbeing - in brief, how to design and build a better life,’ said Mr Halker.

Download the Better app from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.

Win a £10,000 Northern Lights holiday!

Northern Lights

The next 10,000 paid plan Better app users will be entered into the prize draw to win a holiday up to the value of £10,000 to Reykjavik, Iceland.

The lucky winner will be announced in the app, on the Better app website and social media channels. Entrants must be over 18.

Download the Better app and sign up to a paid plan now to enter the competition.

Northern Lights