Scots are suffering more mental health problems because of the economic downturn, according to the largest ever study on the subject. Living in the most deprived areas of Scotland places people at a higher risk of poor mental health, researchers concluded.
A report published by NHS Health Scotland today examines more than 50 indicators which help make up a picture of the nation's mental health, covering factors such as working life and community, chronic physical health problems and misuse of alcohol or drugs. 42 indicated a direct link between greater socio-economic disadvantage and a poorer state of mental health. Only two were more prevalent in better-off areas than poor areas – drinking outside the recommended limits and overwork. Alcohol intake is excessive across the classes, but it causes more health problems in deprived areas.
Andrew Fraser, director of Public Health Science said problems were likely to worsen in a context of austerity. He added: "We can reliably expect these indicators to worsen if deprivation and inequality widen."