OECD FACT BOOK 2009

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Overview

Mental health problems are not uncommon. The share of people reporting having experienced any type of mental health disorder in the previous year ranged from 9% in Italy, Japan, Spain and Germany, to between 12 and 15% in Belgium, Mexico and the Netherlands, 18% in France and 26% in the United States. More people report having incurred some mental health disorders during their lifetime, with shares ranging from 18% in Italy and Japan, to around 40% or more in New Zealand and the United States.

In all countries, the most common disorders are due to anxiety followed by mood disorders. Rarer are those due to impulse control and use of substances. A large part of all mental disorders are classified as mild, but close to 5% of the population of the countries covered report moderate disorders, and a further 3% serious disorders - with a prevalence close to 10% in the United States.

Most mental health disorders go untreated. The proportion of disorders receiving treatment varies from 8% in Italy to 26% in the United States. While the proportion of treatment is higher for serious and moderate cases (at 48% and 31%, respectively), many serious cases receive no treatment.

Across the 21 European countries, the mental health index reveals relatively poor mental health in Turkey and, to a lesser extent, in Italy and Poland. The mental health index suggests good levels of mental health in Norway, followed by the Netherlands, Ireland and Denmark. Differences are relatively small for countries ranked in the middle of distribution of the mental health index.

Prevalence of mental health problems

Prevalence of mental health problems

As a percentage of total population, 2003 or latest available year

12-month prevalence by severity

12-month prevalence by severity

As a percentage of total population, 2003 or latest available year

Share of people receiving treatment

12-month prevalence by severity

As a percentage of total population, 2003 or latest available year

12-month prevalence by type

Share of people receiving treatment

As a percentage of people with different forms of mental health problems, 2003 or latest available year

Mental health index

12-month prevalence by type

As a percentage of total mental disorders, 2003 or latest available year

OECD FACTBOOK2009 Pdf
OECD302009011e-11-01-03.pdf
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