How the North Has the Worst Mental Health in England

My colleagues and I at Trinity Mirror ranked mental health around England on Monday for World Mental Health Day.

We aggregated four datasets – depression, contact with mental health services, the recovery rate from anxiety and depression and antidepressant prescriptions – to produce a mental health ranking for all 209 Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in England.

From analysing the data, it’s clear that the North of England has a serious problem with mental health.

Eighteen out of the bottom 20 areas are all in the North.

Thanet in Kent has the worst mental health in the South of England, but it’s only 36th overall.

This is one way of showing how much worse things are in the North:


Here is the R code behind it:

data <- read.csv("iapt_recovery.csv")

#plot graphic
ggplot(data, aes(x=Rank, y = Region, color = Region))
+ geom_point(size=10.5, alpha = 0.65)
+ ggtitle("The North has the worst
\n mental health in England")
+ labs(x="Better mental health ->", y ="") 

+ theme(plot.title = element_text(size = 70),
 legend.title = element_text(size = 18), 
 axis.title.x = element_text(size = 50),
 axis.text.y = element_text(size = 44),
 legend.text = element_text(size = 18), 
 axis.ticks.x = element_blank(),
 axis.text.x = element_blank()) 

#hide legend
+ guides(color = FALSE, size = FALSE)

The main new things to spot here from before are the alpha aesthetic, which controls the opacity of the points and the ‘\n’ in the title.

This splits the title into a more manageable two lines. This is very useful for social media because it makes the title more likely not to be cut off by Twitter’s image sizing.

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