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Young low-income women at higher risk of poor mental health, says report

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Research published today from a survey of mental health in England, Scotland and Wales, by NatCen, commissioned by the Mental Health Foundation, found that just 13% have reported living with high levels of good mental health.

The report aimed to understand the prevalence of self-reported mental health problems, levels of positive and negative mental health in the population, and what people do to deal with the stressors in their lives.

Women (70%) are more likely than men (60%) to report having experienced a mental health problem. Over 4 in 10 people say they have experienced depression in their lives, with over a quarter of respondents reporting that they have experienced panic attacks.

Household income and employment status were associated with poor mental health, meaning 73% of those living in the lowest household income bracket report having experienced a mental health problem, compared to 59% of the highest household income bracket.

The report stated: “The figures show that the experience of poor mental health, while touching every age and demographic, is not evenly distributed.

“If you are female, a young adult, on low income, living alone or in a large household, your risks of facing mental ill health are higher.”

Jenny Edwards CBE, Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation, explains that that poor mental health isn’t just an issue that affects a minority. “At some point in our life most of us are likely to experience a mental health problem.

“We know that only a minority of people experiencing mental ill health access professional support, which means that we need to redouble our efforts to prevent mental health problems from developing in the first place.”

“This Mental Health Awareness Week we want to give people some of the tools to move from surviving to thriving. The barometer of any nation is the health and happiness of its people. We have made great strides in the health of our bodies, we now need to achieve the same for the health of our minds.”

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