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More women accessing NHS specialist mental health services

Women account for over two-thirds of the growth in demand for NHS specialist mental health services, says a new report from The NHS Information Centre out today.

The study also includes comprehensive ethnicity data showing higher proportions of people from ethnic groups other than white, who were in contact with services, spent time in hospital for mental health conditions.

The Mental Health Bulletin: Second report on experimental statistics from Mental Health Minimum Dataset annual returns 2003–2008 shows the number of people accessing services for severe and enduring mental health problems increased by 3.4% during 2007–08.

Representing 56% of service users, the report shows women are accessing mental health services in greater number than men. However, more men than women are hospitalised for their condition.

Chief Executive of The NHS Information Centre, Tim Straughan, said: "Roughly one person in every 50 in England is accessing services provided by the NHS for severe or enduring mental health problems so it is vital high-quality information is available to the NHS to enable it to monitor and plan mental health services effectively.

"The report represents a major step forward in the quality of ethnicity data. This helps the NHS locally to use it to investigate the impact and coverage of mental health services in their area."

NHS Information Centre