Mental Health Taskforce is on the Government’s “Urgent” Agenda

The Government announced this week via its website, ( that the Deputy Prime Minister will set up and chair a new Mental Health Taskforce made up of ministers from across the coalition government.

The announcement says the taskforce is to focus on:

  • Improving mental health services for young people
  • Welfare and employment issues and helping people back into work
  • Improving crisis care
  • Preventing the large numbers of people with severe mental health problems ending up in police cells and prisons

The taskforce is to meet within the next few days. The article also provides the following statistics:

  • 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year
  • 3 children in every classroom have a diagnosable mental health condition
  • only a quarter of people with a common mental health problem get treatment, mostly in the form of medication
  • 90% of prisoners have at least one mental health disorder, including personality disorder, psychosis, neurosis, alcohol misuse and drug dependence
  • 2.3 million people with a mental health condition are out of work and mental health conditions are the primary reason for claiming health related benefits
  • mental illness costs the country as much as £100 billion each year through lost working days, benefits and treating preventable illness
  • the most common mental health problem is depression which is experienced by 8 to 12% of the population