AnxietyCharity Anxiety UK has urged the government not to become complacent in dealing with anxiety disorders and other symptoms of mental health wellbeing, despite the Office of National Statistics reporting 'small improvements' in people’s overall happiness levels.

The anxiety disorders charity say the decrease from 21.8% to 20.9% of people who rate their anxiety levels at six or more out of ten is a welcome step in the right direction.

But CEO Nicky Lidbetter has sounded a note of caution in highlighting that, despite the small improvement, one in five people still experience anxiety on a daily basis and mental health problems, particularly common mental health difficulties such as anxiety and depression, continue to cost the UK economy £80 billion annually.

“The feel good factors generated by the Olympics, the Diamond Jubilee and other national events and sporting successes over the last 12 months have undoubtedly played a part in improving the overall levels of wellbeing,” she said.

“However our feeling is that these are short term, transient and minor benefits and the longer term support so many people living with anxiety disorders need has to be addressed.

“Waiting times for access to psychological therapies remain lengthy and despite the investment in IAPT services many people are still not receiving the help they desperately need; particularly when their anxiety difficulties are entrenched and complex."