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Mental health of 18-64 year-olds

The information on this page is taken from the report Needs Analysis: adults with mental health problems produced by Herefordshire Council and the Primary Care Trust in 2007. The assessment looks at the principal factors affecting the needs for social and health care for adults aged 18 to 64 years with mental health problems looking forward to 2012 and 2021. According to the London Health Observatory [1], “the term 'mental health problem' can be used to describe the full range of mental health issues, from common experiences such as 'feeling depressed' to more severe clinical symptoms such as 'clinical depression' and enduring problems such as schizophrenia”. The report considered the likely future mental health needs of Herefordshire’s adult population, in order that these needs can be anticipated and planned for by service providers. 

The key findings of the needs analysis that supported the needs assessment are summarised below:

  • An estimated 18,000 18-64 year-olds living in Herefordshire were experiencing common mental health problems in 2005. No notable change in the number is expected up to 2012, but by 2021 it could have grown by some 1%. Assuming that those who needed to were accessing secondary services in 2005, the expected increase could equate to an extra 5 or 6 people requiring them by 2021.

  • There were 874 cases of psychosis, schizophrenia or bi-polar affective disorder known to GPs in Herefordshire in January 2007. This is higher than the estimated 600 that national prevalence rates would suggest.  There is, however, no reason to assume that more people in Herefordshire will require treatment for a psychotic disorder either in 2012 or 2021, than did in 2007.

  • According to national prevalence rates there were an estimated 4,650 residents with a personality disorder in 2005.  This number is expected to increase by around 50 people by 2012.  Projections suggest a 3% increase by 2021, to 4,800 adults. In January 2007 around 60 adults receiving secondary specialist mental health care had a primary diagnosis of personality disorder – just 1.3% of all estimated cases. It is not possible to determine how many people are diagnosed within primary care. The large discrepancy between the number of clients and the estimate based on national prevalence rates may be explained by large numbers of people with a personality disorder not requiring specialist services, or may be misdiagnosed with another mental health problem. 

  • The number of people aged 30-64 with dementia was estimated in 2005 to be about 50; a similar number seems likely in the years ahead. Only 22 of these people were receiving a secondary service in March 2007, of whom an estimated one-third was suffering from preventable dementia related to substance misuse.

  • Compared to those with mental health problems alone, people who have a dual diagnosis of mental health problems and either substance misuse problems or a learning disability tend to make higher levels of demands on services, including  expensive resources such as emergency services and inpatient beds.  Despite this, little is known about the extent of dual diagnosis nationally, beyond its being estimated that around one in three psychiatric patients with a serious mental illness also have a substance misuse problem. In Herefordshire around 30-50 people in Herefordshire have mental health problems and a learning disability, and around half of drug and alcohol service users have a mental health problem. 

Source: Needs Analysis: Adults with Mental Health Problems, 2007, Herefordshire Council.



Last updated: Friday, July 20, 2018