Strong association between unemployment and suicide shown in new BMJ study


How is the economic downturn affecting the health of the nation? It seems obvious to many of us that the mental wellbeing of people who are going through very tough personal and financial circumstances is likely to be seriously affected. Of course the ultimate price that people pay is with their lives and there has [read the full story…]

The cost of antidepressant prescribing has risen by nearly a quarter in the last year, according to new NHS figures


The largest annual rise in prescriptions was seen in antidepressants according to figures published this week by the NHS Information Centre. 46.7 million prescriptions for antidepressants were dispensed in 2011, a rise of 3.9 million on 2010. This equates to a rise of 9.1% in the 12 month period, which is similar to that seen [read the full story…]

First national bereavement survey published by the Department of Health


The Department of Health have published the results of the first nationwide survey of bereaved relatives in England. The survey looked at the last 3 months of life and assessed the quality of care that people received and how this varied in different parts of the country and in different groups of patients. The postal [read the full story…]

Adults with serious mental illness have a mortality rate three times as high as the general population, according to new NHS statistics


People aged 18-74 with serious mental illness have a mortality rate three times as high as the general population, new data from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) show. Though previous research has looked at this area, this is the first time such figures have been calculated by linking mortality data to the [read the full story…]

New atlas highlights the variations in social care spending on mental health services across England


Following on from the publication of the NHS Atlas of Variation in Healthcare and the NHS Atlas for Children and Young People, there is now an atlas which looks at the variations in social care services across England. The report, put together by Health Mandate, focuses on four main outcomes: Enhancing quality of life for [read the full story…]

Prescriptions for alcohol dependency increase once more, but attitudes to drinking are on a downward trend


The NHS Information Centre have published their annual series of reports about alcohol use and misuse.  The reports cover a range of issues including drinking habits and behaviours among adults (aged 16 and over) and school children (aged 11 to 15), drinking-related ill health and mortality, affordability of alcohol, alcohol related admissions to hospital and alcohol-related [read the full story…]

One third of adults using secondary mental health services are not living in settled accommodation


Those of you who like nothing more than to pour over spreadsheets full of social care and mental health statistics (you know who you are) may shed a tear today, as it sees the final publication of the Social Care and Mental Health Indicators from the National Indicator set, which is soon to be replaced [read the full story…]

See how the NHS is performing locally and regionally on the Indictor Portal


The NHS Indicator Portal is a website that provides access to hundreds of health indicators including: Compendium of Population Health Indicators A wide-ranging collection of over 300 indicators designed to provide a comprehensive overview of population health at a national, regional and local level. These indicators were previously available on the Clinical and Health Outcomes [read the full story…]

Psychiatric drugs make up a bigger proportion of all prescription costs than they did a decade ago

Studies in which no placebo condition was included, resulted in a small but significant difference in favour of pharmacotherapy.

There continues to be a considerable amount of debate about the amount of psychiatric medication that is prescribed and how much it costs. Statistics from a number of countries have shown that many classes of drugs are being prescribed more and more, including antidepressants, antipsychotics and stimulants. Of course, as populations grow, people live longer [read the full story…]

Are we under-reporting suicide rates? Findings of a new systematic review

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World Health Organization statistics estimate the global annual suicide rate to be 16 per 100,000 people or about one million people per year. The rate of suicide attempts is about 10-15 times higher than the actual suicide rate. There is considerable variation between countries, with some national mortality statistics reporting no suicides per 100,000 people [read the full story…]