22 Jul 2008

Mental health claim numbers rise

8:53 pm on 22 July 2008

The Mental Health Foundation says it is not surprised that the number of people claiming sickness or invalid benefits because of mental illness has almost doubled in the past nine years.

Figures obtained under the Official Information Act show the number of sickness beneficiaries with psychological or psychiatric conditions rose from 9376 in 1999 to 18,036 this year.

The number of people on invalids benefits rose from 12,567 to 23,294.

Foundation chief executive Judi Clements says more people are willing to talk about mental illness and doctors are more prepared to diagnose.