In the UK, 1 in 4 adults will experience a mental health problem each year. However, a recent report by Bristol City Council found that the city has a higher prevalence of mental ill health than the national average:
- Self harm and admission to hospital in Bristol is higher than the national average.
- Bristol has a much higher suicide rate than the national average: 12.8 per 100k compared with the national average of 10.1 per 100k.
- 8.8% of Bristol’s patient population has a diagnosis of depression compared with 8.3% nationally).
Mental health matters because having a severe mental illness can lresult in people dying up to 20 years early due to preventable physical health conditions.
Click here to read Bristol City Council’s full report.
A complex issue
Poor mental health is often linked with other difficulties in a person’s life.
- Housing: The impact of housing can severely affect someone’s mental health. According to Shelter, 1 in 5 adults have suffered mental health issues in the past five years due to housing problems. If you become homeless this increases the likelihood further: 4 in 10 rough sleepers have a mental health condition.
- Trauma: According to the Mental Health Foundation, past or current trauma can have a significant impact on someone’s mental health. Trauma can include: road accidents, violence/prolonged abuse, natural disasters and serious illnesses.
- Drug/alcohol use: People use drugs and alcohol for many reasons. Some people may try and ‘self-medicate’ with drugs and/or alcohol in order to deal with symptoms of their poor mental health. Drug and alcohol use can also make mental health problems worse, and harder to treat. If someone has a mental illness and also uses drugs and/or alcohol this is often called a dual diagnosis.
Golden Key clients
Golden Key clients experience a challenging mix of homelessness, long-term mental health problems, dependency on drugs / alcohol and offending behaviour. Many Golden Key clients have a dual diagnosis which can make it difficult for them to access appropriate services, as illustrated by the case study below:
Treating a mental health problem and not looking at all the issues going on in a person’s life means that interventions are unlikely to have a long-term impact. At Golden Key, we are working with clients and services to find better ways of providing support so that people with complex needs have better outcomes.