An NHS Information Centre report shows that between 2003 and 2008 the number of people accessing services for severe and enduring mental health problems increased by 3.4% (39,300) during 2007-2008.
Representing 56% of service users, the report shows women are accessing mental health services in greater number than men. However, more men than women are hospitalised for their condition.
The report showed during 2007-2008 almost 1.2 million people were in contact with NHS specialist mental health services– roughly the equivalent to one in fifty of the population in England.
The proportion of mental health service users who spent time in hospital was higher for some Black and minority ethnic groups than for the White group. Some 9.7% of those in the White group were hospitalised, compared to 18.9% of the Black or Black British group.
Tim Straughan, chief executive of the NHS Information Centre, said: ‘The report represents a major step forward in the quality of ethnicity data. This helps the NHS locally to use it to investigate the impact and coverage of mental health services in their area.’