Scotland’s Mental Health

September 26, 2017 by No Comments | Category Health and social care

Two weeks ago we published the latest statistics on mental health from our third Mental Health Inpatient Census, detailing key information on mental health services and the patients who access them.

The Importance of Recognising Mental Health

Mental health includes emotional, psychological and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, act and how we handle stress, interact with others and generally deal with everyday life, from childhood through to the end of life ¹.

As we know from publications such as the Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey ², mental health problems are fairly common.

In recent years, much has happened to advance the treatment and understanding of mental health problems and effort is being directed at reducing the stigma around mental health. For example, World Mental Health Day takes place on 10 October. This annual event has the aim of raising awareness and mobilising support for mental health around the globe ³.

Mental Health in Scotland and the Inpatient Census

In Scotland, the Mental Health Strategy 2017-27 4 was published in 2017 and aims to prevent and treat mental health problems with the same commitment, passion and drive as seen for physical health. A number of key areas were highlighted; prevention and early intervention, access to treatment with joined up accessible services and the importance of physical wellbeing in those with mental health problems.

The Inpatient Census, published two weeks ago, provides important data on mental health in Scotland, in addition to data from other sources. The Census provides both information on mental health inpatient facilities and unique insights into the patients accessing these services. For example, the Census collects both ICD-10 codes on physical conditions and answers to a suite of yes/no questions on physical health which found 58% of adult patients had at least one physical condition at the 2017 Census.

In addition, other data on lifestyle factors such as BMI, smoking, alcohol and other substances are collected at patient level enabling further analytical insights into associations between lifestyle factors and mental health. New questions on physical health checks were added this year which found 87% of adults patients received some form of physical health check in the last year.

There are 40 actions documented in the Mental Health Strategy and the Inpatient Census collects data which feeds into our understanding and progress on a wide range of these.

Where can I access the data from the Mental Health Inpatient Census? 

The data and analysis is available in full from this link.

We also plan to release interactive Tableau Dashboards to further compliment the data collected so if you have any suggestions on what you would like to see in these or for any other information related to the Census, please contact us at

Get involved with social media activity on this year’s World Mental Health Day via the hashtag #WMHDay.

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