The mental health foundation argue that reducing the

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vulnerability to mental health problems. The Mental Health Foundation argue that reducing the number of people across the UK developing a mental health problem is the only way that mental health services will be able to cope with demand in 20–30 years’ time. 11 Mental health problems are the biggest contributor to poor wellbeing. 12 Therefore, in attempting to increase the proportion of the population who have optimal wellbeing and reducing the proportion of the population who have low levels of wellbeing, more needs to be done to help people recover from mental health problems. In England, one in six adults and one in ten children experience a mental health problem at any one time. 13 The human costs of mental ill health are huge in terms of the personal and emotional impact that it can have on individuals and their families. 14 Mental and behavioural health problems also contribute significantly to the global burden of disease, accounting for 23 per cent of the total years of life lived with disabilities (YLDs) and 5.1 per cent of the total years of life lost (YLL) in the UK. 15 People experiencing a mental health problem also have higher rates of morbidity, caused by poorer physical health. As a consequence, a premature mortality rate of fifteen to twenty years exists for people experiencing a serious mental illness (SMI). 16 10 The Scottish Government, Towards a Mentally Flourishing Scotland: The Future of Mental Health Improvement in Scotland 2008-11 October 2007, available from: 11 Mental Health Foundation, Starting Today: The Future of Mental Health Services, September 2013. 12 R Layard, D Chisholm, V Patel et al., Mental Illness and Unhappiness, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE, September 2013. 13 Health and Social Care Information Centre, Adult Psychiatric Morbidity in England – Results of a Household Survey, January 2009, available from: . 14 Centre for Mental Health, The Economic and Social Costs of Mental Health Problems in 2009/10, 2010. 15 Christopher J L Murray, UK Health Performance: Findings of the Global Burden of Disease Study, 2010. 16 G Thornicroft, ‘Physical Health Disparities and Mental Illness: The Scandal of Premature Mortality’ The British Journal of Psychia- try, 2011, 199: p. 441-442.
16 However, a clear tension exists between wellbeing, resilience and recovery. They are linked but distinct concepts. Increasing resilience can help to safeguard wellbeing in difficult circumstances and supporting recovery can help people living with mental health problems to increase their wellbeing. But, both universal and targeted wellbeing promotion initiatives are also needed in order to increase levels of wellbeing across the population. The Young Foundation particularly warns against an approach that conflates wellbeing and resilience, which risks failing to support people with low resilience but high wellbeing (who are particularly at risk from external circumstances such as the economic downturn) or people with low wellbeing but high resilience, who would see no improvement in their wellbeing through a focus solely on resilience.

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