Increase in number of people in contact with NHS mental health services in England: statistical press release
The number of people in contact with NHS mental health services in England (including those referred and those seen) has increased by 16.2% in the last year.
The number of people in contact with1 NHS mental health services in England (including those referred and those seen) has increased by 16.2% in the last year 2.
During 2021-22, 3,256,695 people were in contact with NHS-funded secondary mental health, learning disabilities and autism services - up from 2,803,244 in 2020-21 and 2,878,636 in 2019-20.
This means that 5.8% of people in England were known to be in contact with those services during the year. This is compared to 5.0% of people in 2020-21 and 5.1% of people in 2019-20.
Published by NHS Digital, thealso includes breakdowns by age, gender, ethnicity and deprivation.
The number of under 18-year-olds in contact with NHS mental health services in England increased by 29.2% in the last year to 992,647 in 2021-22 – up from 768,083 in 2020-21 and 763,888 in 2019-20.
Figures show that 18.2% of the country’s 16-year-olds (114,203) and 16.6% of the country’s 17-year-olds (101,694) were in contact with NHS mental health services.
16-year-old girls are most likely to be in contact with NHS mental health services - with 22.8% of the population (69,580) having been in contact with these services during 2021-22.
The Mental Health Bulletin also provides separate tables on inpatient and outpatient numbers and includes figures on those receiving the highest level of care.
Numbers are also available on:
- Early intervention for psychosis
- Use of perinatal community services3
- Memory services for those with dementia
- People subject to restrictive interventions (including type of intervention)4
Read the full report
Notes for Editors
- A person is considered to be ‘in contact’ with services in this publication if they have had an open referral with secondary mental health, learning disabilities and autism services during 2021-22. This may include referrals which did not result in an attendance with a service or treatment being received.
- This publication covers the 2021-22 reporting year and will likely show some of the impacts of COVID-19 however there were no official lockdowns during the period. In places comparisons are made to the 2020-21 reporting year which did feature the impact of the COVID-19 and COVID-19 lockdowns during the pandemic in England.
- Perinatal Mental Health Services include support for mental health problems which occur during pregnancy or in the first year following the birth of a child.
- Restrictive interventions include physical restraint, chemical restraint, mechanical restraint seclusion and segregation.
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