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Poor mental health is now the most common medical complaint for UK adults, according to new research from not-for-profit healthcare provider, Benenden Health.

Mental health illnesses including depression and anxiety were the most commonly reported health condition in the UK during the past two years, with more than a fifth of 25-34 year olds (21%) revealing that they have suffered during this time period, the most of any age group.

Similar numbers were reported across the generations with a fifth of 16-24 (19%) and 35-44 year olds (18%) revealing their struggles, along with 16% of 45-54 year olds and one in ten 55+ year olds - the only generation that did not name mental health illnesses top of the list of conditions they have recently experienced.

Here, arthritis (14%), was the most commonly reported condition, followed by high blood pressure (12%) and then poor mental health (10%).

Following its findings, Benenden Health is warning that the nation is facing a mental health crisis across all generations with the number of older people living with mental illness often unreported.

The organisation has launched a new report shedding light on the key health concerns and conditions affecting the nation and offering advice to businesses on how to provide support to all employees.

Its survey of 2,000 adults also highlighted that there has been little progress in reducing the stigma associated with discussing mental health - especially in the workplace - with mental health illnesses named the most common medical complaint not discussed with employers across every single generation. Among their concerns, workers cited that they feared people thinking they wouldn’t be able to do their job, that they would be talked about and that ultimately it might cost them their employment.

Workers also revealed that they are more concerned about poor mental health impacting them than any other illness, with twice as many respondents worried about the potential impact of poor mental wellbeing than cancer.

A quarter of employees said they were concerned about mental health illnesses impacting them (24%), with high blood pressure and cancer (both 12%) completing the top three.

This was revealed to be the case across all generations with the exception of 55+ year olds, where only arthritis was named as a bigger worry.

Matron at Benenden Health, Cheryl Lythgoe, said: “Exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, the nation’s mental health is at a perilous point, with UK adults revealing it to now be the most common condition in the country and also the one medical complaint that they are most concerned about, with this far from restricted to younger generations.

“Throughout each generation, mental wellbeing needs to be a significant priority in order to stem this flow and we need to look at ensuring that everyone has the necessary – and tailored – support to suit their needs.

“If you are living with symptoms of poor mental health or are concerned about them developing, please do not be afraid to tell someone – whether this is someone you know or a medical professional - as you are far from alone and in doing so, you are taking the first step towards understanding the root cause of the illness and getting the necessary support.”

Benenden Health is a not-for-profit organisation offering high quality, private healthcare at the same affordable cost for everyone. This includes round the clock care such as 24/7 GP and Mental Health helplines, plus speedy access to services such as physiotherapy and medical treatment.

For advice on how to talk about your physical and mental health at work, go to:

For enquiries please contact Ben Rowe or Olivia Prole at Definition ( / 0113 341 6612

Note to Editors

Survey carried out on 2,007 UK working employees by Censuswide in July 2021.
Benenden Health is a not-for-profit organisation, founded in 1905 with the purpose of people joining together to help pay for medical care. It is one of the UK’s longest serving and most respected mutual healthcare societies, offering an affordable alternative to health insurance to more than 800,000 members.
Many UK businesses have also chosen to offer Benenden Health membership as part of their employee benefits package.
Further data from the survey is available on request.

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Definition (formerly Limelight PR) in the following categories: Health, Business & Finance, Medical & Pharmaceutical, for more information visit