UK statistics of the effect poor mental health has on the economy

Did you know that 50% of mental health problems are established by age 14 and 75% by the age of 24? 1 in 6 adults in the past week experienced a common mental health problem such as anxiety or depression.

More than a quarter of people will experience a problem with mental health at some point in their lifetime with studies showing that 57% of employees say they find it hard to multi-task and concentrate when they are experiencing problems with their mental health.

Half of those with mental health struggles can be less patient with their customers or clients, whilst 62% of people need more time to carry out tasks. These figures explain why there has been so much talk about the relationship between mental health and the workplace over recent years.

Statistics from the Mental Health Foundation Report


  • 300,000 people a year leave the workplace because of mental health problems


  • 68% of women and 57% of men with mental health problems are parents


  • Working people with mental health problems contribute £226m a year to the UK economy – that’s 12.1% of GDP


  • In 2017/8 mental health problems accounted for 15.4 million sick leave days in the UK


  • Depression affects around 22% of men and 28% of women aged 65 years and over


  • Last year The Mental Health Foundation found that 30% of all adults have felt so stressed by body image and appearance that they felt overwhelmed or unable to cope


Employers are starting to take action



Research carried out by the charity Mind found that 4/5 of people facing poor mental health cited their work as a factor. Working people with mental health problems contribute £226m a year to the UK economy – that’s 12.1% of GDP.

Open conversations about the issue need to be held at work and support must be made available when employees need help. The Mind report states how the mental health and wellbeing of employees must be routinely monitored and that employees must be given good opportunities to develop their careers and enjoy a fulfilling work-life balance. The charity is calling for a “real cultural change” so employers are more willing to take the issue of mental health seriously and take more steps to address the concerns of their staff.