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People with mental health problems are five times as likely to be admitted to hospital as an emergency as those who have not, according to a new study from the Nuffield Trust and Health Foundation think tanks who were researching emergency hospital admissions in England.

But here’s the thing…

For every 1,000 people with mental health problems there were 628 emergency admissions, compared with 129 among those without – five times the rate. Yet,  just 20% of admissions were explicitly linked to mental health.

Visits to A&E units were also three times higher, with more than 1,300 attendances for every 1,000 patients with mental health problems.

The researchers said many of these could have been prevented with the report author commenting:

“It is clear that if we continue to treat mental health in isolation, we will miss essential care needs for these patients.”

Got it in one.

The issue here is that the typical medical approach to mental illness, just like any physical illness is to deal with the symptoms and not the underlying cause.

Don’t get me wrong. I am incredibly grateful for medical doctors. For example, if I get hit by a car then I don’t think drinking a green juice is the answer.

But, why does our medical approach typically only look at one symptom at a time?

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