Mental health early deaths worrying, says report

The report by the Open Public Services Network, part of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, found that the premature death rate among those with mental health problems was 2.4 times higher than that of the general population.

The review, funded by the Cabinet Office, looked at deaths before the age of 75 in more than 200 local areas between 2011-2012. It found that in each area, the premature mortality rate was higher among those with mental health problems, with 51 of such areas deemed ‘particularly worrying’.

The research also discovered that those with mental health illnesses were six per cent less likely to have blood pressure tests, nine per cent less likely to ave screen for cervical cancer and 15 per cent less likely to have a cholesterol check.

Charlotte Alldritt, who authored the report, said: "Everywhere can do better, but the areas that are doing even worse than you would expect are particularly worrying.

"What our research showed was that some of this is relatively easy to prevent. It is about making sure they get basic checks for things such as diabetes and high cholesterol."

Paul Farmer, of the mental health charity Mind, said: "It is shocking that people with severe mental health problems die much younger than the general population, often from preventable conditions which ought be picked up through routine testing and screening.”

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