Skip to main content
KBS_Icon_questionmark link-ico

Chief Medical Officer's Annual Report focuses on mental health

Professor Sir Simon Wessely, Professor Graham Thornicroft and Dr Max Henderson of the IoPPN at King’s today launched the Chief Medical Officer’s (CMO) Annual Report - Public Mental Health Priorities: Investing in the Evidence with CMO Professor Dame Sally Davies, which focuses on the mental health of the nation.
The report raises concerns about 70 million working days lost to mental illness and £70-£100 billion cost to the economy;  calls for cost-benefit analysis to investigate possible fast-track mental health care for working people at risk of falling out of work;  makes a case for investment in children and young people’s mental health to prevent later life mental illness, unemployment and criminal behaviour;  and calls for piloting of psychiatry services integrated into primary care.
The report finds that: 75 per cent of people with diagnosable mental illness receive no treatment at all;  there is a need for greater focus on mental health care for children and young people;  and there should also be a greater focus on the link between long-term physical conditions and mental illness. 
IoPPN researchers have authored eight out of the 17 chapters in the report:

The CMO recommends piloting of integrated psychiatry services with primary care and the development of psychiatric expertise in primary care. She says this could prevent underlying issues escalating and developing into enduring mental illness.  
CMO Professor Dame Sally Davies said:
“The costs of mental illness to the economy are astounding. Through this report, I urge commissioners and decision-makers to treat mental health more like physical health. The WHO model of mental health promotion, mental illness prevention and treatment and rehabilitation should be adopted in public mental health in England. Anyone with mental illness deserves good quality support at the right time. One of the stark issues highlighted in this report is that 60-70 per cent of people with common mental disorders such as depression and anxiety are in work, so it is crucial that we take action to help those people stay in employment to benefit their own health as well as the economy. 
“My report has also shown that investment in support for children and young people can help to prevent a multitude of problems in later life. Underinvestment in mental health services, particularly for young people, simply does not make sense economically.”
Professor Sir Simon Wessely, speaking in his role as President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists said:
“We warmly welcome the Chief Medical Officer’s (CMO) report, which is full of insights, key facts, and sensible conclusions. We wish to emphasise three areas and associated recommendations. First - the importance of employment to good mental health. We endorse the CMO’s call for employment becoming a routine outcome indicator for mental health services – an outcome that has real world relevance and is simple to collect.  We also agree that more support is needed to keep those who are at risk of losing their jobs from joining the ranks of the long term sick.
“Second, we fully support her call for delivery on the promised expansion of the Foundation posts in psychiatry, and on more time for mental health training for general practitioners.
“Third, the CMO echoes our call for agreed waiting times and access standards for mental health services.”

Earlier this year, the CMO's Annual Report on the State of the Public’s Health 2014, included a Chapter on Addictions, Dependence and Substance Abuse written by Professors John Strang, Colin Drummond, Ann McNeill, Malcolm Lader and John Marsden from the National Addiction Centre at the IoPPN at King's.
For further information please contact:  Louise Pratt, PR & Communications Manager, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King’s College London / (+44) 0207 848 5378 / (+44) 07850 919020