Research by the World Health Organisation found that depression is the leading cause of ill health in the world. As we are living in a time when people worldwide – in many different circumstances – often feel powerless in the face of massive upheaval and change, it is hardly surprising that mental health is suffering.
Inequality is growing internationally and within countries – in the UK inequality has grown sharply in the last 30 years. People face uncertainty over the very basic matters of living such as jobs and education, housing security, access to good health and social care, and internationally face the consequences of wars, dislocation, lack of access to basic resources and racism and intolerance. These are just some of the social factors lie beneath the rising incidence of emotional and psychological health problems.
The article points out that ‘even in high income countries, nearly 50 per cent of people with depression do not receive treatment and drugs prescribed are often ineffective’. In Britain, despite some increased media profile to mental health, government pledges to improve provision and the introduction of the IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies) programme, provision of psychodynamic psychotherapy of any significant duration via the NHS is woeful. Data from 43 health trusts showed that ‘funding for mental health services fell by 8 per cent between 2010 and 2015’. This drive to cut costs must surely be part of the worrying push towards remote and computerised systems for delivery of so-called mental health provision.