News round-up / by Conor D'Andrade
The top mental health news from the week, chosen by our News Editor.
Smoking around 50% more likely among people with mental health issues
New NHS data show that adults with mental health conditions are 40–56% more likely to smoke than adults without a mental health condition.
The figures, released by NHS Black Country and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Stafford and Surrounds' CCG from 2019 to 2020, highlight the importance of providing support to people who want to stop smoking.
From the Black Country and West Birmingham, 14% of all participants said they smoke, compared with 19% of participants who had a mental health condition.
Similarly, data from Stafford and Surrounds' showed that 12% of all participants smoked compared with 19% of those with a mental health condition.
The trend can also be observed on a national level, with 14% of people smoking across the UK regularly between 2020 and 2021, compared with 26% when looking at people with a mental health condition.
Head of Applied Learning at the Mental Health Foundation, Dr David Crepaz Keay, said that while a major goal for people engaging with mental health services is to stop smoking, there isn’t enough accessible support to help them do so.
Study sheds light on gender differences in how mental health issues can influence relationship satisfaction
A new study analysing data from the British Household Panel Survey (1991–2008) on 42,464 couples has identified gender differences in the influence of mental health on relationship satisfaction.
For females, relationship satisfaction tended to have a strong influence on their mental health, however, for men, a ‘vicious cycle’ could be seen of declining satisfaction leading to poorer mental health which would then lead to even poorer relationship satisfaction.
One reason put forward for this difference is that men are more likely to use coping strategies that move them further from their partner in terms of emotion and behaviour.
“This paper highlights support for current UK health policy that increasingly seeks to identify health as an asset, playing a role in an integrated care system seeking to promote a more inclusive and productive society, with a focus on the general flourishing of individuals," said lead researcher, Professor Paul Downward.
"The results, which have consistency with the literature, suggest that satisfaction with partners is a key conduit with which mental health states can become shared by couples.
"The topic is important because satisfaction with partners is an important feature of the overall quality of life and the wellbeing of individuals.”
Cost of living crisis: survey highlights mental health burden for earners
A new survey has found that 1 in 4 people find responsibility for their family finances the biggest pressure on their mental health.
In addition, it was found that 20% of respondents felt that having others depend on them financially meant forgoing their own spending desires, and 15% of paid and unpaid carers are afraid that they will not be able to continue caring for those who depend on them throughout the cost of living crisis.
“It’s extremely sad to see how much the cost-of-living crisis is affecting carers and parents across the UK," said chief executive of Hype Jar, Mat Megens. “Feeling worried about our personal situation is one thing, but when others are depending on us, it just compounds the stress.”
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