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Mental illness recovery linked with deprivation, report finds

18 October 2016: Official statistics published today show a strong link between deprivation and the likelihood of recovering from anxiety and depression.

The report, Psychological Therapies: Annual Report on the use of IAPT services, 2015-16,published by NHS Digital, examines activity, waiting times and outcomes for the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme run by the NHS in England.

It found a strong relationship between deprivation levels and whether patients recover3 from mental illness after "talking" therapies such as counselling, CBT and peer support.

Over 200,000 referrals were received from the most deprived 10% of areas, compared with under 92,000 from the least deprived areas. Whilst 55% of patients from the least-deprived areas recovered, only 35% of those in the most deprived areas did so.

The report also found recovery rates differed with gender and ethnicity. Recovery rates were higher amongst white ethnicities compared to all other ethnicities. White Irish females had the highest recovery rate (50.5%). The lowest recovery rate was for Asian or Asian British Pakistani males (33.5%). The overall national recovery rate was 46.3%; slightly higher than the rate in 2014-15 (44.8%)

Uniquely, the report also flags up data for ex-British Armed Forces personnel and their dependents.

In 2015-16, the recovery rate for patients who were former services personnel or their dependents was 48.6%. This is slightly higher than the equivalent rate reported in 2014-15 (47.1%).

Between 1 April 2015 and 31 March 2016 there were 1,399,088 new referrals for treatment, with 953,522 referrals entering treatment. Of the referrals that finished a course of treatment in 2015-16, 81.3% waited less than 6 weeks and 96.2% waited less than 18 weeks for their first treatment

The report can be downloaded from:



Notes to editors

  1. NHS Digital is the national information and technology provider for the health and care system. Our team of information analysis, technology and project management experts create, deliver and manage the crucial digital systems, services, products and standards upon which health and care professionals depend. During the 2015/16 financial year, NHS Digital published 294 statistical reports. Our vision is to harness the power of information and technology to make health and care better. NHS Digital is the new trading name for the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC). We provide 'Information and Technology for better health and care'. Find out more about our role and remit at

  2. Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) is an NHS programme in England that offers interventions approved by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) for treating people with depression and anxiety.

  3. In IAPT outcome measures, such as recovery, are calculated for referrals that finish a course of treatment within the reporting period. The term "recovery" has a specific meaning in the context of IAPT services. A referral has moved to recovery if they were defined as a clinical case at the start of their treatment and not as a clinical case at the end of treatment.

  4. All historical IAPT publications can be found at

  5. For media enquiries please contact or telephone 0300 30 33 888.


Last edited: 11 April 2018 5:36 pm