Rethink Mental Illness responds to release of new ONS statistics

09 October 2023

The Office for National Statistics reported this morning that there has been a significant increase in the number of adults experiencing depressive symptoms, with the number almost doubling to nearly one in 5 (19.2%) in June 2020, compared with 9.7% (nearly one in ten) in July 2019 - March 2020.

They also report that, over the 12 months to June 2020, one in eight adults (12.9%) have developed moderate to severe depressive symptoms, while 6.2% of the population already had this level of depressive symptoms. Around one in 25 adults (3.5%) saw an improvement over this period.

In response to this, Mark Winstanley, CEO of Rethink Mental Illness said, “These statistics underline the mental health impact on the population at large, and also highlight the groups in society who may be more vulnerable to developing mental health problems, such as young adults, disabled people and those facing financial instability.

“Mental health problems can affect every aspect of a person’s life. It’s crucial that people seek help to manage depressive symptoms and are able to access services when they need them to prevent further deterioration in their health. We anticipate a significant increase in demand for services and support due to the pandemic, but it’s vital to recognise that the responsibility for mental health goes beyond the NHS and demands a cross-government approach. Support with employment, housing and financial problems for example must all be prioritised now the country is in recession and recognised for their role in supporting people’s mental health during a time of great uncertainty and strain.”