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Mental Health in Focus

Date: November 2011
Category: Report
Work programme: Health profiles
Author: Deborah Shipton and Bruce Whyte

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Mental Health in Focus: a profile of mental health and wellbeing in Greater Glasgow & Clyde

This report provides a comprehensive description of mental health in GG&C, using over 51 indicators of mental health, wellbeing and related contextual factors. Profiles for the six local authorities are presented, together with the smaller intermediate zones and neighbourhoods. Inequalities in mental health are explored, specifically across area deprivation, age and sex. 

The continuing poor mental health of the Greater Glasgow and Clyde region and intractable inequalities that have spanned decades called for a fresh look at the mental health of the region. The objective of this piece of work was to build a comprehensive picture of mental health and to describe the broader determinants of mental health and wellbeing at an individual, community and structural level.  The findings provide a resource for those working in the area to find locally-relevant solutions to improving the population’s mental health.

A set of national indicators of mental health and wellbeing (developed by NHS Health Scotland) was used as a framework. A range of administrative and survey sources were used to generate 51 indicators. Eleven describe positive and negative mental health outcomes (such as life satisfaction and suicide), the remaining indicators describe factors working at the individual level (e.g. physical health), the community level (e.g. social support) and the structural level (e.g. violence). Inequalities across population groups are examined. Indicators are presented from the regional to neighbourhood level.

Summary of findings

Stark inequalities in mental health and wellbeing in the region were identified across almost all of the indicators examined, particularly for depression, anxiety and drug- and violence-related indicators. Patterns have emerged which will guide future action to tackle these inequalities:

Mental health outcomes:

  • Patterns unique to the GG&C were identified – relating to alcohol behaviour and harm, depression and anxiety prevalence;
    • Markedly different profiles for males and females were seen, calling for very different actions to improve mental health and wellbeing across the sexes, particularly in relation to depression and anxiety;

Determinants:

  • A considerable burden of physical ill-health was identified and low levels of community participation were seen across all population groups – both of which will have a negative impact on population mental health.

 

The challenge for a range of local and national organisations, including government, will be how to take actions to address the behavioural, cultural and poverty related problems and inequalities that are highlighted.