In this week's Scrubbing Up, clinical psychologist Professor Til Wykes says strategies for funding research into mental health need to be overhauled.
Here are some of the comments you have been sending in response to her article.
This is very true. What also needs to be given coverage of is what this mental health research is for. It's well known for example that the cost of drugs and hospitalisation which are frequently used to tackle mental health, cost far too much while simply changing lifestyle and especially diet can have dramatic, cost effective results. This is something that campaigners have been calling for - but is the powerful drug industry on a too good thing with such a lucrative market?
Mark David Clarke, Watford, Hertfordshire, UK
Cancer and heart disease are liable to be terminal without treatment. Mental health problems (usually) aren't. Hence the difference in funding.
Matt, London, UK
As someone on the BACAP level 3 counsellor course I have seen how recent changes in political attitude towards the wellbeing of the British public has become less respectful, and has even gone so far as to suggest that all counselling be done on a voluntary basis; and yet we are being asked to find a further £1,250+ to complete our diploma year. All in all this suggests to me that there are those who would sooner have a depressed society which is easier to control than a free thinking society that demands their rights be observed. Furthermore, it is not difficult to see that recent political changes that have increased pressure on homes, jobs and services have increased rather than reduced these problems and appear to be deliberate and intentional.
Mr D Sweeny , Kettering, Northants, UK
The lack of understanding of mental health issues stretches to the welfare benefit system, where people with mental health problems are deemed fit for work, when they clearly cannot even look after themselves properly, let alone go out to work. Testing for Asperger's Syndrome in adults is very difficult to access and many GPs claim that the facility does not even exist.
Karen Lawrinson, Bolton, UK
What you forget to mention, or do not realise, is that inefficiency is essentially an industry of its own. It is more profitable to treat the symptoms than it is to cure the disease early, at which time there is no hard ROI. Sad but true. The solution therefore is to incentivise the cure.
Mental health is such a hard sell to some people. Unless they themselves have been impacted or seen such impact in people they care about, they will often dismiss the issue. People need to realise that mental health exists and impacts every single person. It is just a matter of degree. Over the last 5000 years, we have not evolved much physically, although our environment and life pressures have changed dramatically. The cost of such change and the extra pressures we face
is mental health issues. We cannot run from or deny these issue, we need to face them and tackle them head-on.
Gavin, Norwich, UK
Exactly what qualifies someone to be in this group of 15million people who'll experience a mental health problem this year? It's part of normal life for people to have some sadness, fears and rituals or superstitions but these days it seems that the labels "depression" or "OCD" are too easily applied. I'd suggest that a very small fraction of the 15million quoted are actively attempting suicide, at risk of harming others or completely unable to lead something close to a normal life because of their mental health. Although fewer people are diagnosed with cancer, every one of those has a life threatening condition so it is right that cancer research gets a larger share of medical research funding.
Mark, Reigate, Surrey, UK
I have suffered with depression a few times in my life, the last time nearly costing me my life. I have been seeing my local GP since October last year and I don't think he really understands what it revolves around and why it happens. I get asked these questions and I don't know the answers myself. I did not know I even had depression this time.
Tracey Yates, Newcastle-under-lyme, UK
While there is a need for specialist research into genuine (rare, severe, complex and enduring) mental illness, there is no need whatsoever to carry out further research into "mental health problems" (common, mild, social in origin and relatively short lived). We already know that a healthy lifestyle, good quality employment, housing, communities and relationships prevent these problems. What we lack is the political will to act on this knowledge - far easier to put everyone on Prozac than to invest in lasting social and economic improvements!
Tim Watkins, Cardiff, Wales
I have been living in Sydney, Australia, for over two years and have found that attitudes to mental illness are worse than in the UK. One doctor here told me that it is highly prevalent in all "developed" countries where values mainly centre on success and material possessions. I certainly get depressed at the thought and the experience of failure and lack of possessions.
Paul Howard, Sydney, Australia