One in seven people in Norfolk living with depression or anxiety
One in seven people in Norfolk are living with depression or anxiety, according to a survey of patients registered with GPs.
Figures from Public Health England show that 14pc of registered patients in the area were suffering with at least one of the mental health conditions at the start of last year.
The most recent survey showed that the rate in Norfolk had increased by 14.3pc since 2015. The rate in the area is slightly higher than the national average.
Stephen Buckley, from mental health charity Mind, said: “As attitudes towards mental health improve and with it the understanding that help is available, we’re going to see more and more people seek support. No matter where you live, it is important that everyone has access to quality mental health services, when they need them.”
Across England, 13.7pc of GPs’ patients reported living with depression or anxiety at the start of 2017. They were more common among women, with 14.7pc saying they had at least one of the two conditions. For men, the rate was 12.7pc.
Nationally, figures varied significantly between areas. The highest rates of depression and anxiety were in Liverpool, where nearly one in five respondents noted the conditions - more than double the rate in West Berkshire.
The results of the survey, conducted between January and March last year, also showed significant differences according to the background of the respondent, with those from more deprived areas more likely to report anxiety or depression.
Mr Buckley said that the reasons for regional variations were unclear.
He added: “We do know that there are links between, for example, deprivation and mental wellbeing, so it may be that prevalence is genuinely higher in certain areas. On the other hand, more positively, it may be that in some places there is greater awareness that you can get some support from your GP for your mental health.
He said symptoms varied but: “if you’re experiencing depression you might feeling low, numb, worthless or without hope. Everyone experiences good days and bad days but if the feelings don’t go away after a couple of weeks or keep returning, it could be a sign that you’re experiencing a common mental health problem like depression or an anxiety disorder.”