Many people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year, and most of us know at least one person who has been affected by a mental health condition at some point in their life. Every week there are reports in the media covering many aspects of mental health. Health policies attempting to address these many and varied issues have been introduced in all four countries across the UK in recent years. This review looks across the spectrum of mental health statistics and explores whether the statistical system is providing the information required to support individuals and policy makers.

What we have done so far

As each of the UK’s countries has separate policies on mental health, the review has taken a phased approach, looking at the statistics produced in each country in turn. We began with England as it is the largest in terms of the volume and complexity of mental health statistics that are published.

Our research into mental health statistics in England focussed on answering the following two key questions:

  • is the mental health statistical system publishing the information required to provide individuals, service providers and policy makers with a comprehensive picture on mental health?
  • do the existing statistics help answer the key questions about mental health in society today?

Our report on Mental Health Statistics in England, published in September 2020, summarises our findings and recommendations from this stage of the review.

What we plan to do next

Having published our findings for England, we now plan to move on to examine the picture in the other countries of the UK. We will confirm the timings for each specific country in due course.

What we want to happen as result of our work

We want to see producers in all parts of the UK improve the trustworthiness, quality and value of their statistics on mental health so that they achieve parity with statistics about physical health, NHS performance and outputs.


If you have any thoughts you would like to contribute to our review, please get in touch with us at the regulation team.