Student blog post: Mental illness affects 1 in 4 people

Feed URL: http://blogs.kent.ac.uk/criticalthinking/2017/02/05/mental-illness-affects-1-in-4-people/feed/?withoutcomments=1

The statistic I am analysing is, ‘mental illness affects 1 in 4 people’ founded on the website ‘Rethink Mental Illness.’ The statistic appears on the front page of the website because it’s purpose is to make the reader feel as though they are not seperated from the community or isolated due to their mental health state.
However, a limitation of this statistic is that it does not give context as to how they are measuring a person who is ‘affected’ by mental illness. The figure may be over estimating how common mental health illnesses are because on the ‘Find Data’ page of the NHS there is ambiguity over the figures because they count autism and learning disabilities with the numbers. Also, the statistic does not determine the time span which someone has to be affected by a mental health illness to be included in the numbers, and whether it is still counted if you have suffered from it a long time ago.
Another website quoting this statistic is the charity, ‘Mind’ however the way they have interpreted the statistic is different, rather than using it to shock people about how popular it is, their analysis is that actually mental health is not particularly rising each year.  A survey by the Government is completed by people every 7 years to measure mental health, yet it is difficult to place labels on mental health disorders so the numbers may not be accurate due to the stage and level of mental health illness in which you may have. Also, some people suffer from two different types of mental health disorder so being able to measure it and fit in to a category will be difficult and produce inaccurate results.
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