Mental illness on the rise in Belgium
29 June 2004
BRUSSELS – The number of people afflicted with mental illness in Belgium has risen by 20 percent over the last five years, it was reported Tuesday.
Between 1998 and 2002, the last year for which figures are available, the number of mentally disabled persons recognised by the Belgian National Institute of Invalidity Insurance (INAMI) rose from 50,0047 to 60,643.
One reason for the increase may be growing awareness about mental illness.
The latest total includes people suffering from chronic fatigue, an condition not previously recognised as a mental illness.
The growing awareness of mental health in Belgian society is also reflected in statistics on medical prescriptions kept by the institute.
Treatments for mental health complaints, in particular anti-depressants, are now the second most prescribed drugs in the country.
Medicines for heart problems still top the list.
[Copyright Expatica 2004]
Subject: Belgian news