According to a report conducted by London School of Economics and Political Science, the NHS is failing millions of adults and hundreds of thousands of children currently suffering from mental health conditions including anxiety and depression.
Mental illnesses account for up to a half of illnesses in the UK, this report is stating almost three out of 4 sufferers do not have access to effective treatments. The report has highlighted that there is a huge disparity to the amount of treatment options being offered to address physical health problems and mental illnesses. Despite the fact that there are numerous psychological therapies that have passed rigorous clinical testing to ensure their validity and efficiency they are not being prescribed or funded by NHS trusts.
Mental health is reported by the Care services minister Paul Burstow to cost the government £105bn per year. However, effective evidence based treatments such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) are not being utilised, despite the fact that there are clear recommendations from the National Institute of Clinical Excellence.
There is now a growing body of evidence that suggests that the mind (thoughts and emotions) directly impacts the physiological health of the body. This means that emotional states such as anxiety and depression are causing physical conditions such as diabetes, digestion problems such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), high blood pressure and migraines.
It is clear that mental illnesses cause additional physical health problems and illnesses which have been attributed to an extra £10 billion a year in NHS funding.
If the money were to be spent on preventative treatments, such as psychological therapy addressing the emotional and psychological mind states, the NHS could save itself money in the longer term.
There are other side effects of not efficiently treating psychological problems. People with mental illnesses will not be as productive in their job if they are struggling with symptoms of depression or anxiety, additionally, they will suffer from more work place stress. Collectively, these issues and thought patterns will inevitably be the focus of their brain power rather than their tasks for the day. This means that treating mental health conditions could have a positive knock-on effect on productivity and by default economic growth.