Especially since the 1960's religion has been on a drastic decline in Britain along with many other Western nations. People have stopped going to church, baptizing their children, and labeling themselves as religious. In the 2010 Social Attitudes Survey, 43% of people said they had no religion (at increase from 31% in 1983). This is not to say that society has no need for religion, or indeed that Christianity does not hold serious social and political clout, however, secularism is an important process and demonstrates important characteristics about current social interactions.
A second important process, though a more modern one, is that of medicalisation. This is the framing of social issues as medical problems. To illustrate this process it is instructive to look at the rise of behavioral problems such as Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) which have become commonplace in modern child development and education. What would have previously been looked at as a social issue, a overexcited child or a misbehaving student, has now been medicalised as a health disorder with its own language, medication and public understanding. It is also characterized by increased status for the medical profession and the knowledge they possess.
So there is a correlation between secularisation, the shift away from religion as a big part of people's lives, and medicalisation, the placing of previously social problems into a medical context. This article does not go as far as definitively arguing that there is causality in the correlation. However, when looking at how people solve their problems it is an interesting thought that health has taken the place of religion in solving social issues; indeed that doctors have become priests, hospitals have become temples and medical training has become the occult knowledge. With the bio-political impact that pharmacology and doctors have over the lives of people, literally from birth to death, it is easy to see how it has come to replace religion in the eyes of an increasingly atheistic society. Doctors are now being asked to solve a wider and wider range of problems with 'patients' often being unsatisfied unless their issue is classified medically and treated in a pharmacological manner. It is important that we understand the mentalities of a population that may be turning towards the sciences and medicine as new methods of understanding themselves and solving the issues that impact upon their lives.