Mental illness can affect anyone ! it is estimated that 1 in 4 adults experience at least one diagnosable mental health problem in any one year (source: The Office of National Statistics Psychiatric Morbidity Report 2001).

Some mental illnesses are linked to certain types of people who can be more at risk, due to contributing factors such as their age, gender, economic status, or other life issues such as disability or substance dependency.

Mental health problems can develop at different stages during and individual’s life. For example Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is evident from very early on when children start school as their behaviour can be compared to others of the same age. Whereas conditions such as Schizophrenia can develop in late teens to early twenties for men and early to late twenties in women.

There are no set rules as to who mental illness affects, if often depends on the individual and their life circumstances and events, in much the same way as physical illness.

Experiences during childhood such as trauma or abuse can increase the risk of mental illness by changing someone's behaviour and thinking patterns. Life events, stress and the strength of our support networks, together with our age or gender, all combine in determining our mental health; that is why anyone can potentially develop  a mental health problem.


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