In the UK, via the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, one can source all manner of solution-based therapies for the human condition, but the one area you will not come across is a single corrective therapy on heartbreak.
New research from depression treatment specialist Smart TMS reveals new insight into the relationship between mental health and love, and in doing so have discovered that individuals from BAME backgrounds are far more prone to experiencing significant mental health issues as a result of their relationships.
This news comes alongside mounting research from various bodies including the Mental Health Foundation which suggests that BAME communities have poorer access to mental health services and are also typically more exposed to factors which induce mental health issues, such as discrimination, lower-income and violence.
Unlike in other countries, such as Germany and Japan, relationship issues do not currently constitute a valid reason for formal sick-leave in the UK (unless discretionary leave states otherwise). Approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem this year, with 1 in 6 respondents experiencing signs in the past week alone. A testament to the scale of the issue, NHS England plans to spend £13 billion on mental health services in 2019/20 – 14% of local NHS funding allocations.
Key findings – Mental Health and Love in the UK
- Almost 1 in 3 BAME individuals (31%) say that their break-up with a former partner or love life, in general, is the main reason for issues with their mental health, compared with less than a quarter of people across the board in the UK (23%)
- Over 1 in 4 people from BAME backgrounds (26%) say that they’ve never been able to maintain a healthy relationship due to issues with their mental health, compared with just 15% on average across the UK.
- More than 1 in 5 (22%) people in the UK today feel unable to talk to their partner about their mental health.
A Call to Action for the UK’s Industries
The importance of understanding the impact of love and relationships on the nation’s psychological welfare is of vital importance to the healthcare arena, communities and employers nationwide. ICAEW estimates that last year, the national strain costs the UK economy £45bn, amounting to £1300 per person.
Serving as an industry first, SmartTMS – the UK’s leading provider of TMS therapy for depression and other mental health issues – calls on employers, individuals, and the wider industry to evaluate the outcome of this national study and improve their mental health provisions for employees.
Gerard Barnes, CEO of mental health treatment specialists Smart TMS, comments on the findings and calls for a removal of stigma around the impact of our relationships and love on our mental health in society:
“When reviewing the outcome of our research, we have discovered a considerable disparity in the rates of mental health problems stemming from relationship issues for the BAME community, versus the UK average. The relationships we maintain with others, particularly romantic relationships, can have a dramatic impact, both positive and negative, on our mental health, but this is an area that is seldom explored.
Mental health is one of the biggest issues we face in our society today, with mental health problems costing the UK economy nearly £35b last year alone. That is why this research from Smart TMS is crucial in understanding the underlying causes of the UK’s mental health conditions.
It is essential that the public and private sector alike work hard to create an environment in which people feel more comfortable to open up about mental health concerns – if people do not feel as though they can be open about their issues, it will be extremely difficult to tackle the issues associated with these disorders to create a happier and more supportive society.
It is also imperative that more mental health support provisions are made available, especially for individuals from the BAME community, who historically have had far less access to the services that they deserve.”
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