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Mental Health and Wellbeing

Welcome to the Mental Health and Wellbeing section of Cumbria’s Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) 2015 onwards.

The latest Mental Health chapter can be accessed via the link below.

JSNA Mental Health, December 2016

Key issues and recommendations

Key issues (summary)

The Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey (APMS) gathers information on mental illness among adults living in private households.  Of those surveyed in 2014, 1 in 6 had a common mental health disorder (CMD); 1 in 5 women and 1 in 8 men.  Based on these estimates and current population, in Cumbria there are around 70,770 people aged 16+ years with a common mental health disorder; 44,049 women; and 26,862 men.  People with CMD are often hidden and untreated with just 1 in 3 people with a CMD reporting current use of mental health treatment.

Other disorders such as psychotic disorder and autism were more rare, affecting around 1 in 100.  Bipolar disorder is more common affecting 1 in 50.  Drug dependence was evident in 1 in 30; with a similar level found for probable alcohol dependence.  Both types of substance dependence were twice as likely in men than in women. 

In the 2014 Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey (APMS), the population identified as most at risk of poor mental health (common mental health disorders) are females aged 16 to 24 years; and also both men and women aged 55-64 years. 

There are various risk factors associated with mental illness.  In Cumbria populations with rates higher than the national average are single person households, working age people without formal qualifications, those experiencing insolvency, households with an income less than £10,000 and people with a long term health problem or disability.  The risk factors affecting the largest number of people in Cumbria are those people with long-term health problems or disabilities and single person households.

Rates of suicide in Cumbria are higher than the national average.  The circumstances surrounding suicide are often complex and that there isn’t just one risk or attributable factor.

Recommendations for consideration for commissioners

As set out in The Five Year Forward View for Mental Health, the picture of mental health is changing, public attitudes towards mental health are improving, and there is a growing commitment among communities, workplaces, schools and within government to change the way we think about it. There is now a cross-party, cross-society consensus on what needs to change and a real desire to shift towards prevention and transform NHS care. It is recommended Commissioners of mental health care consider the population needs included in this document.



Evidence and research

Evidence and research information including briefings and other publications supporting the Mental Health and Wellbeing theme of the JSNA is available via the links below:

Further information

For further information relating to the Mental Health and Wellbeing theme of the JSNA please contact:

Ali Wilson 
Senior Analyst
Performance & Intelligence – Performance & Risk Unit
Cumbria County Council
Tel: 07876502719


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