Treatment for mental or emotional problems


Last updated 4 March 2021 - see all updates

1. Main facts and figures

  • in 2014, 14.5% of White British people were being treated for mental or emotional problems at the time they were surveyed, the highest percentage out of all ethnic groups
  • Black people were least likely to be having treatment, with 6.5% doing so
  • no other meaningful differences between ethnic groups were observed for the proportion of respondents receiving treatment

2. Things you need to know

What the data measures

The data measures the percentage of people aged 16 and over in England who were receiving some form of treatment for a mental or emotional problem at the time of interview.

Emotional problems include conditions such as anxiety and depression. Treatment includes medication used to treat psychiatric conditions, as well as counselling and other psychological therapies.

Percentages are rounded to 1 decimal point.

Not included in the data

The data does not include:

  • people who live in institutional settings (such as hospitals or prisons)
  • people who live in temporary housing (such as hostels or bed and breakfasts)
  • homeless people

The ethnic groups used in the data

Data is shown for the following 5 aggregated ethnic groups:

  • Asian
  • Black
  • Mixed and Other
  • White British
  • White Other

This means estimates are shown for these groups as a whole. This is because the number of people surveyed was too small to make any reliable conclusions about any of the 18 ethnic groups used in the 2011 Census.


Read the detailed methodology document for the data on this page.

It is unlikely that everyone responded accurately when surveyed, particularly when interviewed. This may be because of the social stigma that some people attach to some mental health conditions. People were more likely to respond accurately in the self-completion section of the survey, but not everyone completed this section.

If someone could not take part in a long interview due to a physical or mental health condition, some information about this was recorded by the interviewer on the doorstep. This information may be biased if it was collected from another household member.

The statistics have been age-standardised so comparisons can be made between ethnic groups as if they had the same age profile (the number of people of different ages within an ethnic group). They do not show the actual percentage of people in each ethnic group who were receiving treatment.

The figures on this page are based on survey data. Find out more about:

In the data file

See Download the data for:

  • the unweighted number of people surveyed
  • confidence intervals for each ethnic group – find out more about how we use confidence intervals to judge the reliability of estimates

3. By ethnicity

Percentage of people aged 16 years and over receiving treatment for mental or emotional problems by ethnicity and treatment type
[None] No treatment Medication only Counselling or therapy only Both medication and counselling Any treatment
% % % % %
Asian 92.9 4.2 2.6 0.4 7.1
Black 93.5 5.0 1.5 6.5
Mixed/Other 92.6 3.5 3.2 0.7 7.4
White - British 85.5 11.4 1.4 1.7 14.5
White - Other 92.4 6.2 0.9 0.4 7.6

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity’ (CSV)

Summary of Treatment for mental or emotional problems By ethnicity Summary

This data shows that:

  • White British people aged 16 years and over were the most likely of all ethnic groups to report having any treatment at the time of interview (14.5%)

  • sample sizes were not large enough to draw conclusions about differences between ethnic groups in the types of treatment received

4. Data sources


Type of data

Survey data

Type of statistic

National Statistics


NHS Digital

Publication frequency

Every 7 years (further publications dependent on further surveys being commissioned)

Purpose of data source

The Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey provides data on the prevalence of treated and untreated psychiatric disorders in English adults aged 16 and over.

5. Download the data

APMS_treatment_for_mental_emotional_problems - Spreadsheet (csv) 3 KB

Percentage of individuals estimated to be receiving treatment for mental or emotional problems by broad ethnic group, sex and treatment with 95% confidence intervals.