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Prevention of mental illness in the adolescent years

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Antonio M. M. Rodrigues.

The adolescent years are associated with the highest incident risk rate of major mental illnesses over the lifecourse. Approximately 70%-80% of all mental illnesses will begin their natural history before 25 years of age. Within the UK 21 % (14 million) of the population are under 18 years and around 1.25 million will have some form of mental health problem: but they will vary from mild (many) to highly severe (some). Approximately 500,000 however will have been clinically depressed before their 21st birthday of whom one third will experience recurrent mental illness into adult life. Productivity losses in adult life are 23 times higher than costs to NHS . Sickness costs (‘absenteeism’) in the UK economy are approximately £8.4bn annually. Furthermore, there are an estimated £15.1bn lost in reduced productivity at workplace (‘presenteeism’). These are the background factors that indicate the pressing needs for a public mental health policy that puts prevention at the heart of its programme. This lecture outlines the types of prevention programmes (primordial, primary, secondary and tertiary) currently being actively pursued in the UK and elsewhere to reduce incident onset, recurrence and chronicity of mental illnesses respectively that can emerge and persist through into adult life.

This event is jointly organised by the Wolfson College Science Society and the Wolfson College Society of Emeritus Fellows.

This talk is part of the Wolfson College Science Society talks series.

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