It’s World Mental Health Day, a global day for mental health education, awareness and advocacy against social stigma.

Data has shown that, as a nation, we are struggling with our mental health and more than 1.6 million Londoners (18%) experience at least one mental health issue every week.

While 90% of those who live in the UK’s capital believe it’s important for people to talk about mental health, a worrying 712,640 Londoners (eight per cent of the city’s population) still feel that mental illnesses are not real illnesses, showing that education on the topic is still very much needed.

The study, conducted by adult-education college and charity, City Lit, revealed the London boroughs which have the highest percentage of residents who have formally been diagnosed with a mental health illness.

Greenwich residents suffer with a mental health condition more than any other borough, as 16% of residents have been diagnosed with some form of mental health illness. Those who live in Islington are second, with 14% of residents having been diagnosed with a mental health condition.

Londoners also believe that stigmas around mental illnesses are on the increase, with 29% of those surveyed by YouGov stating so.

Boroughs, with the proportion of residents who have been diagnosed with a mental health illness

  1. Greenwich (16%)
  2. Islington (14%)
  3. Lewisham (13%)
  4. Wandsworth (13%)
  5. Waltham Forest (12%)
  6. Southwark (12%)
  7. Kingston upon Thames (12%)
  8. Hammersmith and Fulham (12%)
  9. Camden (12%)
  10. Hounslow (11%)

The research coincides with City Lit’s Mental Wealth Festival, an event designed to celebrate the things that keep us well.

The festival, now in its fifth year, provides a forum for informative, challenging and inspiring discussions and workshops that explore mental health issues. Commencing on October 8th, the festival runs until Saturday 12th October – including World Mental Health Day on October 10th.

This year’s focus is on relationships, family, friendship and the importance of community and support networks, as well as loneliness and the impact this can have on our mental health and wellbeing.

Chris Jones, director of sales and marketing at City Lit, said:

“Our mental health is so important to our overall wellbeing, so it’s crucial that we take time out to do the things we love, and the things that keep us well.

“It’s concerning to find that so many Londoners experience mental health issues in their life, so we’re hoping that the Mental Wealth Festival will encourage locals to spend more time reflecting on how we stay well, both emotionally and mentally.”

To find out more information on the Mental Wealth Festival and how to book tickets, please visit: https://www.citylit.ac.uk/mwf