Number of people with 'mental health issues' doubles in Guernsey

The percentage of islanders saying that they are suffering with mental health issues now sits at 29%. Credit: PA

The number of people who say they are living with 'mental health issues' in Guernsey has increased.

Overall figures for those living with a mental health condition have decreased since 2019, but those saying they are 'struggling mentally' or in 'not a good place' has doubled.

Citizens Advice Guernsey have said: "Although the number of enquiries containing reference to mental ill health decreased overall in 2020 and 2021 from the 2019 figure, which could in part be due to the impact of lockdowns during Covid.

"There was however an increase in the number of individuals describing themselves or described in general terms as having ‘mental health issues’, ‘low mental health’, or to be ‘struggling mentally’, ‘vulnerable’ or ‘not in a good place’."

The percentage of islanders saying that they are suffering with mental health issues now sits at 29%.

The biggest cause for mental health problems in Guernsey are to do with financial problems (21%), work or unemployment (18%) and, relationship and family issues (14%).

Education, inheritance and special needs were seen as the lowest cause for mental illness in the island.

Figures show that in Guernsey, the number of people who have reported suffering from a mental breakdown or suicidal thoughts, had increased.

Mental health cases which classed individuals as 'distressed', 'upset' or 'emotional, had increased proportionately in 2021 compared to 2020.

However, 2020 saw a decrease compared to 2019, in cases describing anxiety, low self-esteem or confidence, but these cases did slightly increase again in 2021, but not of the level seen in 2019.

Cases referencing depression also decreased slightly in 2020, but then increased slightly again in 2021.

There was a single case of eating disorder reported in 2020 and none in 2021, compared with two cases in 2019.

Guernsey's mental health services were last reviewed in 2018 by David Gedze.

In his 2018 report, David Gedze concluded that, “Guernsey has good mental health services, which in many ways are as good as or better than those in most countries in the world”.

David Gedze is currently back in Guernsey to review the service again.