COMMENT:  The figures around mental health are stunning and the data is saddening

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It’s genuinely hard to believe the latest data surrounding mental health but it’s the truth and genuinely hits you hard between the eyes.

Between 2014 and 2015 Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in England recorded that 15.6 per cent of the population aged from 16 to 74 lived with a common mental health disorder. That’s 6,114,247 people.

This statistic was higher in Portsmouth, with 16.7 per cent of adults affected.

Added to that, a national GP survey conducted in 2016 also found that 15.6 per cent of patients aged 18 and over in Portsmouth experienced depression or anxiety. This was more than the average in England of 13.7 per cent. Why? What causes such anxiety? Does anybody really know?

Types of mental health illnesses are extremely wide ranging and far from simple to define.

From conditions labelled common, like anxiety and depression, to those classed as more severe like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and self-harm, each person will be affected differently.

And some conditions might not even be seen as a mental health problem such as stress, insomnia, loneliness and drug and alcohol addiction.

Then again, all of the startling data aside, it’s so refreshingly good that in these days mental health is being brought into the spotlight for discussion.

It is no longer the taboo subject it used to be and no longer has the stigma attached to it that it may have done in the past.

Mental health issues are a part of everyday life in the 21st century and that is why The News is running a series of articles over the next couple of weeks to highlight the help that is available out there.

 There is lots of help available now and hats are raised to the mental health specialists who are trying their hardest to help sufferers lead as normal a life as possible.