18 Oct 2012
Research published today by researchers at the MRC Social and Public Health Sciences Unit has found that the mental health of many people in England has worsened since the onset of the recession in 2008. Here Vittal Katikireddi, lead author of the research, tells us why using surveys to study the health of the general population like this can reveal the disease ‘icebergs’ lurking beneath the surface.
Why bother looking at the mental health of the general population? Surely, when trying to assess the impact of an event, such as a recession, on mental health, we should only focus on the number of people who are suffering from severe mental distress or the rates of suicides? I hope to convince you otherwise.
The research we’re publishing today is based on the Health Survey for England, conducted each year between 1991 and 2010. It shows that the mental health in England has declined since the onset of the recession, particularly in men. [...]