As Mental Health Week ends, I had the opportunity to discuss this serious issue with the Chief Executive of the Royal College of Occupational Therapists, Julia Scott and the latest report from the College "Improving Lives, Saving Money".
The report points out the huge difference occupational therapists can make by supporting wellbeing, reducing costs and preventing the escalation of mental health issues.
The scale of this health challenge is huge when you consider that around one in five people in Scotland reported experiencing a common mental health problem in 2014-15. Figures from the World Health Organization (WHO) show that depression is one of the largest causes of disability worldwide.
Mental health issues can be barriers to education, development and career opportunities which may lead to longer-term health and wellbeing problems. Occupational therapists can offer invaluable support in supporting individuals' ambitions and goals.
Work is a key priority for people with mental health challenges since it offers opportunities to build self-esteem, social interaction and contribute to the community. We also know that there is a link between poor mental health and poor physical health. Supporting people into work and supporting them to stay in work is a very important role for occupational therapists.