It is reported that one in four people in England and Wales will have some form of mental illness over their lifetime and as a result, mental health was chosen as one of the six national priorities for the Choosing Health white paper (2004). The socio-economic and environmental factors associated with poorer mental health include social stigma, stress, worry, fear and isolation.
There are broadly two approaches to estimating the numbers of people with mental health problems in the general population. One is relevant to the types of common problems, such as depression and anxiety, for which people commonly consult their GPs. The other relates to the more severe types of problem, such as schizophrenia or manic-depressive illness, for which people use specialist services.
There are an estimated 133,764 people with a common mental illness in Kent. There are almost 5000 people in Kent estimated to have a major mental health problem (excluding personality disorders).
For more information on national policies for mental health go to: