The rising demand for mental health care

Get a free consultation

Health Assured team

18 March 2024

The impact of the pandemic on people’s mental health is well-recognised and the demand for treatment has continued to increase. Having timely access to psychological services is critical for addressing the needs of those diagnosed with mental health issues, however, public services are under huge pressure and the number of people seeking help is on the rise.  

In July 2022 more than 1.6 million people in England contacted NHS mental health services—up 22.7% from April 2020, in the first peak of the pandemic. Open referrals of children and young people are 66% above pre-pandemic levels.  

This may represent just the tip of the iceberg in a wider mental health crisis. In a Royal College of Psychiatrists survey in March 2022, a third of people reported worsened mental health owing to the pandemic. The Centre for Mental Health charity estimates that 10 million people in England will need mental health support because of the pandemic in the next three to five years, including people with complex grief, trauma, and burnout. 

How common are mental disorders today?

Mental disorders remain very common in the post-pandemic era. According to MHFA England, 1 in 4 people experience mental health issues each year and 1 in 6.7 people experience mental health problems in the workplace.  

At Health Assured, we have seen calls to our helpline increase from 277,000 telephone contacts in 2019 to 475,000 in 2023 – an unprecedented rise of 71.5%.  

What is unusual about them is they tend to disproportionately affect young people. A lot of mental disorders begin in childhood or adolescence and can include: 

  • Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) 
  • attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) 
  • learning disabilities 
  • anxiety disorders, particularly social anxiety disorder 
  • obsessive-compulsive disorder 
  • mood disorders 
  • bipolar disorder 

Mental health services under “unsustainable pressure”

The latest Government data update states that the number of people contacting the NHS seeking help for mental health problems is at a record high.  

NHS mental health services are under “unsustainable pressure” as demand far outstrips the capacity of overstretched services to provide adequate care. 

Mental health services are facing unprecedented pressure to keep up with soaring demand. Amid this crisis, software solutions have proven invaluable. Healthcare providers increasingly rely on technology to streamline their workflows and enhance patient care quality. Many practitioners now use a mental health software to manage patient records, schedule appointments, and facilitate billing, ensuring they can accommodate more patients efficiently.

In the context of underfunded mental health services facing a care backlog, waiting lists and a stretched, exhausted, and understaffed workforce, which make services harder to access. 

The need to find alternative large-scale support options is absolutely crucial if we are to meet the rising demand for mental health services, particularly at this critical moment when public healthcare is being overwhelmed.  

Employee Assistance Programmes may help ease the burden and can provide individuals mental health in the workplace support.

What is an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP)?

An EAP provides managed access to a range of experts and mental health professionals, accessed through a single-entry point and via a structured assessment of need, that will provide support, guidance, and information on a wide range of work-related and personal issues that can affect work performance and attendance. 

Our Wellbeing Services

Health Assured is the largest provider of Employee Assistance Programmes (EAP) in the UK and Ireland. Our award-winning wellbeing services support over 13 million people and 80,000 organisations – helping to create happier and healthier workplaces.  

We provide leaders and individuals with access to our 24/7, 365 helpline, counselling therapy, trauma management, legal & financial advice, mental health workshops and training sessions.  

Supporting your employees mental health 

With a Health Assured Employee Assistance Programme (EAP), we can offer you practical mental health advice and support.

Our EAP provides guidance and supports your employees with their mental health in the workplace and at home. We can help you create a safe, productive workspace that supports all.

We support your employees' mental wellbeing with any problems they might be facing in their professional or personal lives with our 24-hour counselling helpline.


Find out more about EAPs


Make your enquiry

Please complete the form below and we'll be in touch to answer your enquiry

Book a place on this workshop

Get a free consultation

Please complete the form and we'll be in touch to schedule your free consultation

An error occurred

We appologise but an error has occurred submitting your form. Please try again.

Mindful Employer
Stonewall Diversity Champion
Disability Confident Employer
bacp Accredited Service
International EAP Association
National Suicide Prevention Alliance
The Workplace Wellbeing Charter
Mental Health at Work
Cyber Essentials Plus
Investors in People Silver 2022
Employers Initiative on Domestic Abuse
The Prince's Responsible Business Network
SEQOHS Accredited
helplines partnership