There is a huge increase in the number of people who are taking time off from employment due to mental health problems, according to new figures.
One in three sick notes are handed out for mental health issues, in total 5730,000 cases were reported last year.
The stigma around mental health conditions has alleviated somewhat in recent years as many public figures have talked openly about their own issues, and how they have struggled.
This number has risen 70,000 in comparison to the previous year. This has made mental health the most common reason for sick leave.
Simon Stevens, the head of the NHS, told the Telegraph: “These figures explain why the NHS is now putting mental health front and centre, in what was recently independently described as ‘the world’s most ambitious effort to treat depression, anxiety and other common mental illnesses.
“When it comes to mental health, what’s good for patients is also good for taxpayers, because untreated mental health problems directly affect work, unemployment and benefits.”
The Government have been battling the “sick note culture” by bringing in a “fit note” system. The fit note system, introduced back in 2010, aimed to encourage employees back to work, but it has been met with limited success.
More people in Knowsley, Merseyside are taking mental health sick leave in England, while Richmond in London recorded the lowest number of people given mental health fit notes.
A Government spokesman said: “We’re helping thousands of people to remain in, or get back into work after a period of ill-health.
“We’re determined to go further, and these statistics will provide us with a better understanding of why people take sickness absence in different areas across the country.”